Russell Brookshire, age 58, of Chattaroy, was struck by an SUV on October 1 while traveling north on State Route 2. Police say 81-year-old Judith Meehan, a resident of Colbert, was driving her 2015 Chevrolet Traverse westbound on Colbert Road when she pulled into the northbound lanes of State Route 2, failing to yield the right-of-way to Brookshire and colliding with the motorcyclist in the right northbound lane.
Brookshire was not wearing a helmet, and he died from injuries sustained during the collision, authorities say. Meehan was wearing a seatbelt and was taken to the hospital. The accident remains under investigation, and it is yet to be determined if Meehan will be charged in the incident.
This tragic accident underscores the fact that motorcycle accidents are generally violent, resulting in catastrophic or fatal injuries. After all, a motorcycle provides no type of injury protection to the rider of the motorcycle or anyone riding behind them on the bike. Most injuries occur when the rider is ejected from the motorcycle and strikes the ground or objects in their path. Simply put, a motorcycle has zero crashworthiness and offers no protection for operators. This was all too apparent in this serious motorcycle wreck.
Statistics On Motorcycle Accidents
In Washington State, motorcycles make up just 3 percent of the vehicles on the road, but they accounted for 19 percent of all serious injuries and 15 percent of all crash-related fatalities on Washington’s roads for the four-year period ending in 2017. An average of 75 riders loses their lives on Washington’s roads each year. The fatality rates of motorcyclists have remained steady for more than 10 years, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission despite the state’s It’s a Fine Line initiative to reduce the number of motorcycle crashes in the state.
Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 80 percent of reported motorcycle accidents lead to injury or death of motorcyclists. Driver negligence—whether failing to see the motorcycle or, in the unfortunate case above, failing to yield to the motorcycle—is a top cause of motorcycle accidents across the nation. Other top causes of motorcycle wrecks include:
- Distracted drivers
- Poor road conditions
- Road hazards
- Inclement weather
- Driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs
- Lane splitting
- Reckless driving
Washington’s Motorcycle Helmet Law
It is important to note that the victim, in this case, was not wearing a motorcycle helmet. In Washington State, riders of motorcycles are required by law to wear a helmet while operating their motorcycles. Under RCW 46.37.530, operators of motorcycles and other motor vehicles that have no steering wheel, seatbelts, or enclosed seating area must wear a helmet to be legal on the roadway.
Injured In A Motorcycle Accident?
Russell & Hill, PLLC serves as an advocate for injured parties, seeking justice for victims of motorcycle accidents and other traffic accidents. Let our team of established, experienced personal injury attorneys and motorcycle accident attorneys review the merits of your case to determine the best path forward for you. Reach out to us at 800-529-0842 to set up your free consultation now.