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Rate of Motorcycle Accidents Increases in Summer Months

Greater Seattle and Eastside Personal Injury Law

Rate of Motorcycle Accidents Increases in Summer Months

As June comes to a close and July approaches, Washington residents will experience an increase in sunny days and all that it brings: joggers, picnics, swimming and, unfortunately, motorcycle collisions. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the percentage of motorcycle related accidents and injuries significantly increases in the months of July, August and September. The WSDOT reports that in 2011 alone, 2199 motorcycles were involved in a collision. Those collisions resulted in 70 fatalities, 365 serious injuries and 1816 total injuries overall. The great majority of fatalities and injuries are to the driver rather than the passenger. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WFSC) further reported that 2012 saw a rise in fatalities (83 deaths).

The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that motorcycle accident related injuries have increased on the national scale as well. In 2011, motorcycle fatalities increased to 4612 — up from 4518 in 2010. Furthermore, 55 out of every 100,000 registered motorcycles were involved in a fatal crash, compared with only nine out of every 100,000 cars (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)). Motorcyclists were approximately 30 times more likely than car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled in 2011 and five times more likely to be injured.

Despite the gradual rise of motorcycle accidents, Washington State still does not require motorcyclists to carry motorcycle insurance. Although insurance is not mandatory, the data suggests that purchasing motorcycle insurance is a wise choice for those who enjoy their two-wheeled vehicles. Two important forms of insurance are Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Bodily Injury Insurance (BII). The distinction between the two is discussed on

PIP covers physical injury to the person covered by the policy only. It does not cover any injury or damage caused to other motorcyclists, drivers, pedestrians or property. The purpose of PIP is to cover medical-related costs including, but not limited to:

  • Health insurance deductibles
  • Co-payments
  • Doctors visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Dental care
  • Psychiatric visits
  • Prescription drugs
  • In home nursing care
  • Funeral costs
  • Lost wages

BII covers the things that PIP does not. Where PIP protects the holder of the insurance policy, BII covers medical-related expenses of other parties. BII covers the following:

  • Doctors visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Home healthcare
  • Lost work wages
  • Funerals

While there are additional forms of motorcycle insurance, these two types of policies are fundamental in ensuring the motorcycle driver, other accident victims, and the victims’ families are protected in the unfortunate case of physical injuries.

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