Bicycling is popular in Seattle and throughout Washington. People who are concerned about the environment, their health and saving money will automatically be drawn to riding instead of driving or taking public transportation. However, there is increasing concern about bicyclist safety.
Since riders are essentially devoid of protection beyond a helmet, they can suffer serious injuries and fatalities when an automobile crashes into them. This can result in massive medical expenses, long-term injuries and loss of life. Being aware of the dangers is important, but it is also wise to know what options are available after a crash.
Bicyclists account for more than 20% of road fatalities in Seattle in 2022
According to recent statistics, Seattle roads have had 14 fatalities in 2022. Twenty-one percent of them were bicyclists (three of the 14). Many riders are lamenting the spike in deaths and the growing challenges they face. Anecdotally, they say that drivers are ignoring the rules of the road. One rider stated that a driver stopped in the bike lane and a crash was narrowly averted by the rider’s quick evasive actions.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has tried to encourage drivers to slow down. It posted 2,500 signs saying that the speed limit is now 25 mph in most areas of the city. Still, that did not help a 63-year-old man who was killed when he was hit by a car and the driver fled. Nor did it save a teen who was in a crosswalk when he was hit by a vehicle and died.
Bicyclists are in constant jeopardy and should know their rights
Drivers are obligated to share the road with bicyclists and do so safely. That responsibility is frequently dismissed or ignored with distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding and being reckless. In addition, riders can be hurt by people opening doors without looking beforehand, failing to yield, driving too fast for road conditions or not keeping an eye on bicyclists at night.
Given the long-term problems that can result from a bicycle accident including hospitalizations, surgeries, rehabilitative care, the need for assistance to perform basic daily tasks, the inability to work and more, it is vital to know the legal alternatives. The scene of the crash must be assessed, evidence gathered, the scope of the injuries gauged and more. Having assistance is essential in the immediate aftermath and consulting with qualified professionals is vital from the start.