You have a lot to deal with when you ride a motorcycle.

Traffic, roads, nature. All these distractions make it extra important to keep your speed under control. The faster you go, the slower your reaction time. And the less on-point your reactions are, the more likely something bad will happen.

What the data says

It takes a rider who is paying attention one full second to think before hitting the brakes. At highway speeds, that can mean traveling up to 84 feet before any physical action is taken. So if you’re four car lengths behind the person in front of you (and speeding) the car ahead of you will stop you before your brakes do.

Facts to think about:

  • Since 2019, an average of 109 motorcyclists have died each year on Washington roads and is increasing every year.
  • Speeding was a major contributing factors in motorcycle crashes.
  • Between 2020 and 2022 in crashes involving wildlife, 48 out of the 60 people who were seriously injured were motorcyclists. During that same time, wildlife caused 11 fatalities, with 10 of those killed being motorcyclists.
  • Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a crash than anybody in a car.

What you can do

It’s simple: go the speed limit, slow down in rain or fog, and ride within your abilities. Talk to anyone who has survived a motorcycle crash, and they’ll tell you, “It happened so fast.” No matter how much control you think you have, you can’t control your environment or other people. Going the speed limit gives you more time to react to everything, and everyone, around you.