This year has proven to be especially dangerous for bicyclists in Washington state and especially in the greater Seattle area. Already this year, at least 12 bicyclists have been killed in accidents, most of them in collisions with motor vehicles. Compare this with 2009 when there were 10 fatal bicycle accidents all year in the state.
The fatal bicycle accidents involving people from the Puget Sound region include:
9/11/11 – Marian M. Byse, 65 9/10/11 – Robert Townsend, 23 8/30/11 – Brian Fairbrother, 50 8/4/11 – George Demendoza, 69 7/29/11 – Michael Wang, 44 7/23/11 – John Przychodzen, 49 5/25/11 – Sally Eustice 5/10/11 – Lonnie Moss, 47 3/22/11 – Mark Chamberlin, 55
The Seattle Times just published an article entitled “Bicycle fatality raises safety issues” and discusses some of the challenges facing cyclists. A quote from one bicycle commuter aptly described a big part of the problem for cyclists, “Drivers look for vehicles; they don’t look for bikes.” That is an apt description of many bicycle accidents, caused by the negligence of a distracted or unaware motorist.
BikeWise, which compiles bicycle accident reports, has some of the top lessons for bicyclists:
- Always anticipate sudden moves from drivers
- Bicyclists are invisible until proven otherwise
- Don’t assume drivers will stop at signs/crosswalks
- Never assume the driver can see you
- Ride defensively
- Slow down before intersections
- Always wear a helmet
And the most telling… Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do..
What is going to make our roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians?
First of all, it is clear that infrastructure is needed — signage, protected bicycle lanes and traffic calming measures are needed to protect.
Motorists need to be more aware and look for both bicyclists and pedestrians.
The deaths of these bicyclists needs to be a wake up call to all of us to be more aware and more careful on the streets.
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in bicycle accidents and the family of those killed.
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Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.