Bicycling is a fabulous way to get around Seattle, get in your daily dose of exercise, and help to keep pollution at bay. Unfortunately, cycling accidents are relatively common in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a total of 726 cyclist deaths and 49,000 cyclist injuries in the year 2012 alone. Many of these accidents were preventable.
Whether you’re a motorist or a cyclist, you know that it’s not uncommon for a driver of a car to get frustrated with a cyclist on the road, which can in some cases contribute to an accident. However, frustrated or not, keeping cyclists safe should be a top priority of everyone while driving. For some common bicyclist and cycling misconceptions among motorists, refer to the following.
Cyclists are in the Way and Cause Accidents
One common misconception about cycling that motorists often have is the claim that cyclists are often in the way and can cause of accidents, making them a hazard to themselves and drivers alike. Cyclists can certainly contribute to an accident—or even cause one—but statistics on whether cyclists or motorists cause bike accidents more often are mixed.
Some found cyclists were more often at fault, while others found it was motorists who caused the most accidents. Both cyclists and motorists should be mindful of one another and share the road to reduce the risk of accidents.
Bike Lanes are Unnecessary and Wasteful
Many motorists get upset about the idea of bike lanes, leading to a common cycling misconception that these lanes are both wasteful and contribute to congestion amongst vehicles. The truth is, though, the bike lanes provide a little more cushion for cyclists who might otherwise ride at the right portion of the lane, cramping that lane and making a collision more risky.
Cyclists Aren’t Subject to Any Rules
While some cyclists are certainly guilty of breaking traffic laws—as are some motorists—that doesn’t mean there aren’t laws in place.
- it’s illegal for cyclists to ride more than two abreast in a lane.
- cyclists must use lights when biking at night.
- and, cyclists must adhere to all other rules of the road that are applied to the driver of a motor vehicle, according to Washington State law Title 46, Chapter 46.61, Section 46.61.755.
Cycling Has No Benefits
Among the various bicyclist and cycling misconceptions is that biking has little benefit, if any at all. On the contrary, though, the benefits of cycling are numerous. Not only is cycling beneficial when it comes to a person’s health and the environment by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released, but it’s good for the economy, too.
According to a May 2012 article published by Forbes Magazine, bicyclists in the United States save at least $4.6 billion each year by riding their bikes rather than driving.
Taking Action after a Bicycle Accident
Unfortunately, cycling misconceptions can increase risk for bicyclists who must share the road with motorists. If you’ve been involved as an accident as a cyclist, seeking out the legal advice of a personal injury attorney may be within your best interest. An attorney can provide you with information about who’s liable for your accident, and highlight ways in which you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries.
If a motorist has caused you injury in Seattle, the attorneys at Max Meyers Law PLLC are ready to work hard for your case. For questions about the types of compensation you may be able to receive, how to start filing your claim, or to set up a free case consultation, call us today at 425-399-7000.