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Riding in the Rain: Seattle Bike Safety Tips

In 2018, 54 collisions in King County involved bicyclists.

Seattle, WA—Not even a bike crash could stop award-winning Ed Sheeran from performing across Asia on his most recent tour. He’s still playing full sets every night and selling out shows and doesn’t plan on stopping bike riding anytime soon. 

In an interview with Time Out Singapore, Sheeran explained, “I’m going to ride bicycles again, I’m going to ski, I’m going to go on skateboards. If I’m going to break my arm then I’m going to break my arm. Nothing’s going to stop me from having accidents.” Those of us who are not so lucky or optimistic continue to wonder how to avoid road dangers at all times. How can we avoid bike accidents and what are the leading causes of them?

Seattle bicycle accident lawyer, Greg Colburn, explains that these types of accidents are common despite the harsh Seattle winters. 

“In 2017, the majority (61 percent) of bicycle crashes occurred at intersections. Contributing causes of bike collisions in Seattle include failure to grant the vehicle right of way, disregarding traffic signals, vehicles speeding, and vehicles following bicycles too closely. Bicycle crashes occur more often on the roadway than on a designated bike route, crosswalk, shoulder, or sidewalk.”

More often times they result in greater harm to the cyclist than the driver of the motor vehicle. As a result, many cases he handles resulted in traumatic brain injuries and broken bones. This leaves the biker in a much more vulnerable place than cars.

Follow the Rules of Road Safety

The Seattle Department of Transportation wants you to follow the rules of the road. Below are a few of their safety tips to follow:

  • Always make eye contact with cars.
  • Ride at least three feet away from parked cars.
  • Be careful when riding near a truck, you might see them—but they can’t always see you!
  • Utilize hand signals to communicate with other travelers.
  • Wear a helmet.

Washington has a reputation for embracing all forms of transportation, including bicycles. A new interactive study lists the most dangerous places for cyclists in Washington. Below are the top ten most dangerous roads for bicyclists in Washington. As you can see, Seattle accounts for 90 percent of the danger zones.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Places for Cyclists in Washington [2013-2017]

A tragic number of people are killed or seriously injured in bicycle accidents every year. While statistics from the NHTSA demonstrate a decline in the number of bicycle fatalities, it’s important to acknowledge one life is still too many.

Common Causes of Bike Crashes in Seattle

  1. Intersections: As mentioned earlier, 56 percent of bike accidents occur near intersections. However, only 11percent of bike crashes involve another vehicle. When crossing the street at an intersection, it’s important to make sure the cars to your right are always able to see you. Although bikers have the right away, drivers tend to forget to look both ways.
  2. Riding Against Traffic: Not only could this get you in an accident, it’s against the law. Keep to the shoulder and always follow the flow of traffic to stay safe.
  3. Road Hazards: The large amount of rain during winter months can cause the roads and gravel to get uneven. Potholes and construction zones are something to be very cautious of when on the roads this winter. Often bicyclists can swerve to avoid one road hazard and end up running over another bump in the road. Always use caution and look behind you when swerving quickly.

Share the road.

Investing in night safety gear can be very beneficial to use, even during the day. A simple light in a storm could help keep you visible to cars on the road. You should always tell a loved one your route on the road in the event something tragic happens. Following these safety tips and staying more alert knowing the busiest intersections could save a life. By biking in the city of Seattle, you’re reducing traffic congestion, making less of an environmental impact and getting excellent exercise!

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Riding in the Rain: Seattle Bike Safety Tips
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