Car vs. bicycle accidents are a major issue in Seattle–and a life-threatening one at that. Bicyclists have the same rights on the road as cars, but of course many less protections, and these accidents are often devastating.
An area news reporter recently wrote a column about being hit by a car while riding her bike. Luckily, she came out of that accident without serious injuries, which is not often the case in bike-car accidents.
This woman was reportedly riding in the bicycle lane when a car door swung open in front of her. Though she saw it coming, there was simply no time to swerve out of the way, and she crashed into the door, which then launched her off of her bike onto the pavement. The columnist appears to be making a full recovery, but she hopes that her story will help promote the education of how to drive safely on multi-use roads.
It is very important that drivers are aware of bicyclists at all times. Not only while driving, but we see in this case that drivers need to be careful when getting in and out of their cars as well. This writer suggests that drivers make an effort to open their car doors with their right hand–thereby reaching over, and forcibly looking out of the window to notice any bicyclists riding by. She also requests that drivers practice simple habits such as habitually checking their mirrors–a safe and responsible practice that drivers should all be doing anyway, whether there is a bike lane nearby or not.
Source: Ballard-News Tribune, “Riding Reporter gets hit,” Anne-Marije Rook, Feb. 29, 2012