Most of us have fond memories of riding our bicycles as children. Some of us may have gone on to ride our bicycle as an adult, whether to work, for recreation, or simply to get some outdoor exercise. In Washington State, riding a bicycle is one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities. As the presence of bicycles continues to increase in cities and on busy roadways, bicycle accidents will also continue to rise. Unfortunately, when a bicycle is hit by an automobile, the bicyclist can end up with very serious injuries, or even death. In fact, in 2017, 783 bicyclists died following an accident with a motor vehicle.
The Kadish Twersky bicycle accident attorneys in Everett have decades of combined legal experience with bicycle accidents. When you choose Kadish Twersky Law Firm, you not only have our experience, knowledge, and skills, you will also have the experience, knowledge, and skills of the Palace Law attorneys, with whom we have recently merged. We can represent you against a negligent individual’s insurance company, a large corporation, or a governmental agency. Regardless of the facts surrounding your Washington State bicycle accident, we have the necessary skill set to help you through the claims and litigation process.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
United States Bicycle Accident Statistics include the following facts:
- In 2015, 467,000 individuals were injured in a bicycle accident.
- In 2016, bicyclists accounted for more than two percent of all traffic fatalities.
- In 2016, more than half of all fatal bicycle accidents occurred during the daytime, while about 45 percent occurred at night.
- In 2016, the three-hour period between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. saw the highest number of fatal bicycle accidents on Saturdays and Sundays.
- In 2016, 84 percent of the bicyclists who died in accidents were male.
- The highest rate of bicycle accident fatalities in 2016 was among adults between the ages of 50 and 59.
- In 2007, the average age of a bicyclist who died in a motor vehicle accident was 40, while in 2016, the average age of a bicyclist who died in a motor vehicle accident was 46.
- California had the most bicyclist fatalities in 2016, followed by Florida and Texas.
How Common Are Bicycle Accidents in Washington State?
According to the Seattle Times, pedestrian and bicycle fatalities doubled across the state over a four-year period, despite Washington’s ongoing effort to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. The number of people killed while walking or riding in Washington State rose in 2014 to 122, from only 60 in 2013. The number of pedestrians and cyclists seriously injured jumped by 31 percent over the same time period.
Being Aware of Bicyclists in Washington State
Drivers can do a number of things to increase the safety of bicyclists, including:
- Drivers should always be cognizant of the vulnerability of bicyclists. While a car can weigh up to two tons, the average bicycle weighs about 20 pounds. The bicyclist is virtually always the loser when a bicycle collides with a car.
- Drivers should always be aware of the traffic laws which apply to bicyclists.
- Drivers should stop thinking of bicyclists as being “in their way.”
- Remember that bicyclists lessen traffic congestion—and pollution.
- Intersections are venues for serious bicycle/car collisions; drivers should always pay particular attention when making a right-hand turn.
- Drivers should always give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance.
- Drivers should never drive distracted. If you are looking at your phone, it is even easier to collide with a bicyclist.
- Drivers should make a point of carefully looking for bicyclists and motorcyclists prior to exiting their vehicle. All too often, a driver opens the door suddenly after parking, leaving an unsuspecting bicyclist to slam into the door.
How to Stay Safe Riding Bicycles in Washington State
There are also a number of things cyclists can do to stay safe on the roadways, including:
- Make sure to wear reflective clothing at night and equip your bicycle with a front white light and a rear red light.
- Install a bell or horn on your bicycle; when you ring your bell, people will know you are approaching, Ringing the bell is especially important when you pass a parked car, a turning car, or a pulled-over car.
- Make sure you are fully aware of the rules of the road—even better, take a course on bicycle safety.
- Always be alert, watching for drivers who may not be watching for you.
What To Do Following a Washington State Bicycle Accident
The first thing you must do following your bicycle accident is to see a physician. If you are medically able, following your bicycle accident, you should take photographs at the scene of the accident, speak to any potential witnesses, and jot down information related to the accident. If you cannot do this while at the scene, see if you can get a friend or family member to do this for you. Once you go home, make a file for your bicycle accident. Keep careful notes of every single detail related to your accident, as well as every medical expense related to the accident.
How Kadish Twersky Can Help You Following Your Bicycle Accident
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, it is important that you first see to your injuries. After receiving medical attention, contact a Kadish Twersky lawyer who will work on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Your injuries could be severe, requiring multiple surgical procedures and months or years of rehabilitative therapies. You could require assistive help in your own home and may be unable to return to your normal job. The most common injuries to bicyclists include head injuries, injuries to the spinal cord, other back and neck injuries, broken bones, contusions, bruises, and internal injuries.
All of these injuries can be life-altering. At Kadish Twersky, we are dedicated to helping you get your life back in order. If you are left with medical expenses you are unable to pay, and you are unable to work and make a living, all the while dealing with serious, lifelong injuries, we want to talk to you. Having a knowledgeable legal advocate in your corner can truly make a difference in the outcome of your bicycle accident claim. Contact Kadish Twersky today.