Now that the new Second Avenue bike lane is being used, Seattle officials are reviewing incidents that occur there to make it safer. One of the adjustments made to the newly designed roadway was the removal of some on-street parking to improve sight lines. Now that a couple of accidents have occurred at the same portion of the road, more changes are on the way.
Two bike accidents occurred in the first week of October 2014 on Second Avenue near Union Street. According to a news report in The Seattle Times, one accident occurred when a car turned left in front of a cyclist and the other involved a driver who had difficultly seeing cyclists because of parked cars. Officials are reviewing these accidents to determine if it is safe to have parked cars in the area that obscure the bike path from motorists. Read the rest »
Immediately following a Seattle bicycle accident, you may feel panic or confusion. However, it is important to take a deep breath and to remember that your actions may affect your ability to receive financial compensation for your injuries, damages and losses.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you can take the following steps to ensure that you are safe and that your rights are protected:
- Get to safety. If you are physically able to move, get out of the street. You are at risk of being struck a second time as long as you are on the road.
- Check for injuries. When adrenaline is rushing through your body, you may not notice that you have suffered a serious injury. Take a moment to check for bone fractures, severe lacerations and blood. You should also check your helmet to see if it is cracked. Read the rest »
Recent changes designed to make Second Avenue safer for bicyclists have left many motorists befuddled. After only three days, Seattle’s Department of Transportation has already made a number of changes to reduce confusion. According to a news report in The Seattle Times, a green straight arrow replaced a solid green circle to indicate that drivers can only continue forward. They also replaced a sign that allowed turns only on a green arrow with a “No Turn on Red” sign.
These changes are designed to protect bicyclists riding in the bike lane on the left side of Second Avenue. Many drivers are not accustomed to having riders on the left side. So, the city is attempting to control when motorists are allowed to make a left-hand-turn. They have also installed green lights for bikes and red and green turn arrows that clearly indicate when motorists have the right of way. Read the rest »
A 31-year-old female bicyclist suffered fatal injuries in a Seattle car accident while riding in the bike lane. According to a news report in The Seattle Times, the fatal bicycle accident occurred along Second Avenue in downtown Seattle. Officials say she was traveling to work in the bike lane when a truck made a left turn and struck her. She died at the scene of the crash. Officials are investigating the cause of this collision.
This particular accident took place on a one-way street where the bike lane is on the left side. According to The Seattle Times, the city already has scheduled plans to make major bicycle safety improvements to the route. Under Washington Statute 46.61.770, bicyclists are not required to use bike lanes or to ride on the shoulder. They can ride with traffic and are afforded the same right of way privileges as motorists. This means that bicyclists must obey traffic laws and that drivers must yield to riders just as they would to other motorists. Read the rest »
A bicyclist in Missoula was flown to a Seattle hospital after being struck by a motor home. According to a news report in The Ravalli Republic, the bicycle accident occurred at Miller Creek Road and U.S. Highway 93. Officials are looking into whether the bicyclist went against a red light at the time of the crash. The bike was caught under the wheels of the motor home and the rider sustained serious head internal injuries.
There are many reasons why bicycle accidents commonly occur at busy intersections. Riders often contribute to crashes by failing to obey traffic laws. Drivers often cause intersection accidents by failing to look for riders before making a turn or entering traffic. If you ride a bicycle, here are a few safety tips to remember whenever you approach an intersection:
- Obey the law. Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. Similarly, they must follow the rules of the road. Never ride through intersections without obeying stop signs or traffic lights. Read the rest »
Now that Seattle is embarking on its own bike-sharing program, it is important to review how safe these programs are and what can be done to make them better. According to a University of Washington and Washington State University study published in the American Journal of Public Health, cities with a bike sharing program have experienced a 14 percent increase in head injuries. Bike sharing programs in the United States currently do not offer helmets. Read the rest »
A bike rider was hospitalized after being hit by a truck in Whatcom County. According to a news report in The Bellingham Herald, the bicycle accident occurred in the 3400 block of Northwest Avenue in Bellingham. Officials say the rider was in the bike lane when a truck turned into him. The severity of his injuries has not been reported but he was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash and if the driver will face a citation.
In Washington, bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles. This means that bicyclists must obey all traffic laws and car drivers must yield to bicyclists just as they would to other drivers. When motorists fail to yield to bicyclists who are safely riding in a bike lane, it must be determined why the driver failed to yield. Read the rest »
A 15-year-old boy was seriously injured in a Seattle car accident involving a driver that left the scene of the crash. According to a KOMO news report, the hit-and-run accident occurred on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South near Walden Street in South Seattle. Officials say the boy and his brother were crossing the street at the intersection when a southbound dark gray Honda struck him. The boy suffered a life-threatening head injury. The driver failed to stop to render aid or exchange information. Investigators are searching for a Honda with a missing driver’s side mirror and a broken front headlight assembly.
According to Washington Statute 46.52.020: “A driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury to or death of any person or involving striking the body of a deceased person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to, and in every event remain at, the scene of such accident.” Read the rest »
It is absolutely vital for your safety to obey traffic laws while riding a bike. Here are a few Washington State bicycle laws to bear in mind whenever you are riding: Read the rest »
A female cyclist was injured and had a seizure in a Seattle crosswalk after being struck by a van. According to a KOMO news report, the bicycle accident occurred at the intersection of 5th Avenue North and Harrison Street in Seattle. Officials say the van made a turn at the intersection before striking the female bike rider. The injured cyclist had a seizure, but was conscious when the medics arrived. She was transported to a nearby medical center with serious injuries that are not considered life threatening. The pregnant driver of the van was taken to a local facility for observation.
Seattle is known for being a bicycle-friendly city. In fact, the League of American Bicyclists named Washington State the most bicycle-friendly state in the country six years in a row. That does not, however, mean that bicycle accidents do not happen here. Bike accidents occur in Washington and specifically in Seattle almost every day. According to the Seattle Department of Transportation, there were 1,800 collisions between bicycles and cars in Seattle from 2007 to 2011. Read the rest »