Monday, June 24, 2013

Increase Rates of Motorcycle Accidents in Summer Months

            As June comes to a close and July approaches, Washington residents will see in increase in sunshine and all that it brings: joggers, picnics, swimming, and, unfortunately, motorcycle collisions. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), motorcycle related accidents and injuries see a significant increase in the months of July, August and September. The WSDOT reports that in 2011 alone, 2,199 motorcycles were involved in a collision. Those collisions resulted in 70 fatalities, 365 serious injuries and 1,816 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 an increase to 83 fatalities.  

            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 4,612 from 4,518 in 2010. Furthermore, 55 out of every 100,000 registered motorcycles were involved in a fatal crash, compared with only 9 out of every 100,000 cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Motorcyclists were about 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 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

·         Doctor’s visits

·         Hospital stays

·         Dental Care

·         Psychiatric visits

·         Prescription drugs

·         Home-nurse care

·         Funeral costs

·         Lost wages

BII covers those 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:

·         Doctor's visits

·         Hospital stays

·         Prescription medications

·         Physical therapy

·         Home-health care

·         Lost work wages

·         Funerals

*Can also pay policy carrier’s legal fees if sued as a result of the accident.

            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. For more information, consider contacting a Seattle Motorcycle Accident Lawyer.

                                                                                         Weitz Law Firm
                                                                                         520 Kirkland Way, Suite 103
                                                                                            Kirkland, Washington 98033

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