As the weather warms up this spring, people in Washington are eager to get outside. Those who own vehicles that are open to the air, such as bicycles and motorcycles, have been particularly keen. Unfortunately, with the advent of favorable conditions, state authorities report an increase in motorcycle fatalities.
Several factors have contributed to this alarming trend, including potential DUI and speed.
Driving under the influence
A 56-year-old man died in Kitsap County after the driver of a car rear-ended him and reportedly fled the scene. Authorities believe that the driver may have been under the influence of narcotics, having caught up with him approximately a mile away from the site where he allegedly committed the hit and run.
State authorities report that both motorcyclists and drivers have been driving at excessive speeds on Washington’s roadways, a potential recipe for disaster even when weather conditions are favorable. In one incident, in which alcohol or drugs could also have been a factor, authorities allegedly clocked one car traveling at nearly 200 miles per hour.
Though not getting into specifics, authorities report that motorcyclists have been “really opening it up” on the roads. As a result, motorcycle collisions, including single-vehicle accidents have become a major concern within the past few weeks alone.
So far in 2020, there have been 17 motorcycle fatalities in the state of Washington. Due to the interplay of the various factors, 12 of those have occurred within the month of April alone. Year-to-date figures do not include fatalities that occurred over the last weekend, which authorities have yet to tally and add to the total.