Less than six weeks ago an attorney was killed while riding her bicycle down Second Avenue in Downtown Seattle. Since that time that intersection has changed dramatically, and in my opinion not at all for the better.
With warmer weather on its way there are more bicyclists on the roads. Many people see cycling to work as a healthier alternative to driving. In Seattle it is even Bike to Work month with many people cycling their way to their jobs instead of using other means. With more cyclists sharing the road the chance of a car accident is also higher.
Even though Washington state law treats bicycles and motor vehicles as equals with respect to traffic laws, Seattle residents probably recognize a certain degree of tension when it comes to sharing the road. That tension comes to the forefront in the aftermath of any car accident involving a bicyclist. More often than not, the central issue in litigation over accident-related damages turns out to be a determination of who is at fault.
Seattle residents have a reputation for loving their coffee. On January 8, a local 32-year-old may have helped solidify that reputation by making a nearby coffee shop his first stop after being hit by a bus while trying to cross Third Avenue on his bicycle.
For most people, Christmas Eve is a day filled with preparations for holiday events and family gatherings. For one unfortunate Seattle bicyclist, though, Christmas Eve may have been filled instead with physical pain and suffering after an early-morning traffic accident.
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.
If Seattle residents listen to the news every day, they are bound to hear about tragic bicycle accidents that result in serious injury and death. For instance, in Boston, a 37-year-old woman was recently crushed under a semi truck; a 63-year-old woman was killed when someone speeding in a pickup truck hit her; and a 41-year-old man was hit in one of the city's suburbs and the driver left the scene. All of these bicycle accidents happened within the last two months, and two of the crashes happened in the same week.