Have you been struck while on a bicycle? Bicycle accidents are an unfortunate fact in the Pacific Northwest. With many people using bicycles as their main mode of transportation for work and errands, most motorists take it for granted that they must “share the road” with cyclists. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Contact Joshua D. Anderson, a bicycle injury lawyer in Bonney Lake to learn about your options.
Bicycle Accidents Abound
Dozens of cyclists in recent years have suffered riding injuries or fatalities in Washington State. And the number of injuries related to non-motorized vehicles nationwide is on the rise. A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2011 concludes that the numbers of people injured or killed in bicycle accidents account for 2 percent all those injured in traffic accidents. The number of those injured – 48,000—was nearly 10 percent more than in 2010.
Because bicycle injuries are so common and severe, there are several laws promoting bicycle safety in Washington State.
Bicycle Laws in Washington State
Because bicycle injuries are so common and severe, there are several laws promoting bicycle safety in Washington State:
- Helmets – Though not a state law, some localities like King County, Tacoma, and Gig Harbor do require helmets;
- Riding on the road – Cyclists on the road must follow all traffic laws;
- Closing of dangerous roads and highways – Local governments reserve the right to ban bicycles on select roadways;
- Children cyclists – Parents and guardians must not knowingly allow bicycle traffic violations;
- Sharing the road with another bicyclist – No more than two cyclists can ride side by side;
- Night riding – This requires a white front light that is visible for 500 feet and a red rear reflector;
- Bike lanes vs. shoulders – Bicyclists have the option to ride on shoulders or in bike lanes.
Bicycle Injury Causes
A bicycle injury is likely to occur for several reasons. Sometimes the accident is the fault of the rider; other times, the driver of a motorized vehicle is responsible. Cyclists are often injured for the following reasons:
- A parked driver opens a car door into the path of a bicyclist;
- A bicyclist makes a left turn into oncoming traffic;
- A car veers into a bike lane;
- A vehicle rides too close to the bike lane or shoulder, clipping a bicycle.
Contact a Skilled Bicycle Injury Attorney
If you feel you are the victim of a bicycle accident due to someone’s negligence, we may be be able to help. Bicycle Injury Attorney Joshua D. Anderson understands how overwhelming it is to lose time, income, and health to a preventable bicycle injury. If you life in Bonney Lake or surrounding cities such as Auburn, Kent, Enumclaw, Puyallup, or Sumner, contact our law office today for a free consultation with our dedicated and compassionate staff.