Washington law treats bicycles as legal road vehicles and confers upon bicyclists all the same rights and responsibilities that apply to drivers of motor vehicles. Unfortunately, as Seattle area cyclists probably know, drivers often fail to give bicyclists the same right of way as they would other vehicles and sometimes simply lack awareness of bicyclists with whom they must share the road.
A 68-year-old man found himself in a Seattle hospital after a November 9 accident in Port Hadlock. The man, a well known resident of his community, had to be airlifted for medical treatment after being struck by a 1984 Ford van while crossing the street in his motorized wheelchair.
A young Seattle woman was among three people treated at a King County hospital in the wake of an October 4 crash that led to the death of a 68-year-old tractor driver. Police suspect that drunk driving may have played a role in the fatal truck accident that took place in the early afternoon on I-5 in Federal Way.
An Oct. 23 accident investigation in North Seattle became the scene of a second crash that sent a police officer to the hospital with minor injuries. Police responded to a pedestrian accident on the 5900 block of Aurora Avenue North involving a man hit by a car as he tried to cross the highway at around 9:15 p.m. During the investigation of the pedestrian accident, a woman ran into a parked police car while attempting to drive through the scene.
Teen drivers, as Seattle readers may know, present a much higher risk of being involved in an auto accident than more experienced drivers. In some cases, as one Marysville family has learned, the statistics surrounding the risks to teen drivers may tend to bias the results of an accident investigation.