According to a report from the Tri-City Herald, a motorcyclist was killed in a tragic multi-vehicle collision on a highway in southeastern Washington. The crash reportedly occurred on a rural stretch of Washington State Route 397, near Finley in Benton County. The motorcycle accident, which unfortunately took the life of 32-year-old Khyl W. Cassano of Kennewick, is still under a more comprehensive investigation by the Washington State Patrol (WSP). However, the initial reports from law enforcement indicate that the fatal motorcycle wreck occurred when another vehicle turned left directly in front of Mr. Cassano’s oncoming motorcycle.
Motorcycle Accidents are Far More Likely to Result in Fatalities
Motorcycle safety is of the utmost importance. As motorcyclists have limited built-in safety protection, they are vulnerable to catastrophic injuries (or worse) in an accident. For reference, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that “an astounding 80 percent of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death.” For reference, only about 20 percent of passenger car accidents result in injuries.
The gap between motorcycle accident fatalities and passenger vehicle accident fatalities is even more alarming. The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that an average of 5,000 motorcycle deaths happen nationwide each year. Put another way, motorcyclists account for 1 in 9 motor vehicle accident deaths in the United States. Yet, motorcycles account for less than 1 percent (1 in a 100) of road miles traveled nationwide.
A Long-Standing Safety Problem: Other Motorists Fail to Recognize Motorcycles
There is no question that motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers face a higher risk than everyone else on the road. Washington classifies motorcycle riders as vulnerable road users for a reason. That being said, it would be wrong to assume that motorcycles are at fault for a disproportionate number of highway accidents. There have been many comprehensive studies on motorcycle accident causation, including the famous Hurt Report in the early 1980’s.
Over and over again, these studies show that other drivers are actually disproportionately likely to be at fault in a multi-vehicle collision involving a motorcycle. The core safety problem remains the same as the one that likely occurred in the recent tragic fatal motorcycle accident reported in Benton County, Washington: Too many motorists simply fail to even recognize the presence of a motorcycle. Drivers need to get better at safely sharing the road with bikes. It is an unfair stereotype to automatically blame motorcycles for multi-vehicle accidents. Yet, too many insurance companies still try to do so.
Reach Out to Our Spokane Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Help
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our East Washington motor vehicle accident attorneys have the specialized skills, knowledge, and expertise to handle motorcycle accident injury claims. If you or someone you know one was hurt in a motorcycle crash, we will help. Call us now or send us a direct message for a no cost, no obligation evaluation of your personal injury case. Our motorcycle accident lawyers serve clients throughout East Washington, including in Spokane, Rockford, Cheney, and Mead.