Bicycling is becoming a larger part of our lives, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. In addition to being an increasingly popular recreational and exercise activity, more Washingtonians are commuting to work and more students are pedaling to school.
Sadly, more bicyclists mean more tragedies. In 2016, the state recorded 17 bicycle crash fatalities, the most in at least a decade. Pedestrians and bicyclists together accounted for 18.6 percent of traffic fatalities from 2013-2017, and 22.5 percent of serious injuries. The total of 474 deaths was up from 412 for 2011-15, while serious injuries increased from 1,992 to 2,351.
Locally, the Vancouver Bicycling Club raises safety awareness by:
- Participating each May in The Ride of Silence, an international commemoration of cyclists who have been killed or injured
- Every July sponsoring its biggest event, Ride Around Clark County
- Scheduling “Road Cycling 101: Stress-free Skills & Safety” sessions
How Can Bicyclists Protect Themselves?
The Washington State Department of Transportation offers the following safety tips:
- Obey traffic signs and signals
- Never ride against traffic
- Follow lane markings
- Don’t pass on the right
- Use a rearview mirror
- Keep both hands ready to brake
- Wear a helmet
- Never ride with headphones
- Dress for the weather
- Wear bright-colored clothing
- Use hand signals
- Make eye contact with drivers
- Look out for road hazards
- Use lights and reflectors at night
- Keep your bike in good repair
Seek medical attention, even if it seems minor
In any collision with a car, bicyclists can suffer catastrophic injuries that can keep you out of work for a lengthy period. As medical bills pile up, you may be unable to provide for your family, adding mental and emotional anguish to an already unbearable situation. The driver who hit you may deny responsibility for causing the crash. His or her insurance company, sensing your financial desperation, may give you a lowball settlement offer that comes nowhere close to fairly compensating you for your injuries and total damage.
Bike crash attorney Colin Scott, of The Scott Law Firm, PLLC, is an avid cyclist who regularly commutes to work by bicycle to his office in downtown Vancouver. He understands the issues and dangers facing bicyclists as well as anyone. He also understands the local courts in Vancouver and Southwest Washington, making him your preferred bicycle advocate in this region. He will investigate your crash and take appropriate steps to hold the person who caused your injuries accountable. If you were injured in a bicycle accident and it wasn't your fault, take the first step towards rebuilding your life and contact attorney Colin Scott for a free consultation today.