Experienced Attorneys Serving Victims of Bike Accidents in Washington State
The weather is quickly warming up and, with the first day of spring behind us, more residents are picking up their bike helmets and taking advantage of great temperatures. Whether you are riding your bike to work, to school or just for recreation, it is important to stay safe – especially when sharing the road with motor vehicles. While drivers are required to yield to cyclists and look out for those on bikes, not all motorists obey traffic rules. Therefore, the only way to stay safe is to look out for potential hazards and know what to avoid.
Tips for Safer Cycling This Spring
- Wear a Helmet – Always wear a properly fitting helmet before getting on your bike. Helmets are 80 percent (or more) effective at preventing serious injury – including traumatic brain injury.
- Maintain Your Bike – Make sure your bike is safe to ride. That includes properly inflating the tires, checking the brakes (or replacing, when necessary), and ensuring that the chain is intact. A surprising number of accidents occur when bikes are not maintained.
- Obey Traffic Rules – There are rules while operating a vehicle and rules while riding a bicycle – and it is imperative that you understand these rules before venturing out. In the state of Washington, bicycles are required to obey all traffic signals, signs (including yield and stop signs), and markings while sharing the road. As a cyclist, you are also required to use the proper hand signals to notify drivers of your intentions.
- Stay Visible – If you are riding at night, increase your visibility. That includes wearing reflective clothing or placing reflective tape and lights on your bike. Also, wear brightly colored jackets and a headlamp.
- Ride Wisely – Be predictable and make sure that drivers know where you are going. You are required by law to use the bike lane (when present), so that drivers know you will be out of their way. If you are going to make a turn, signal ahead of time to the drivers behind you and always keep up with the flow of traffic.
- Be Safe on Bike Trails – If you are leaving the city and enjoying one of the many mountain bike trails of the state, notify someone at home which trails you are taking and what your expected return time will be. By giving someone an itinerary, he or she can notify safety personnel of your possible location, in case you do not return.
Were You Injured on Your Bike?
While motorists are required by law to look out for cyclists, modern distractions put cyclists at high risk for accident and serious injury. Often, those involved in bicycle accidents suffer from long-term injuries – including paralysis and traumatic brain injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Washington’s personal injury advocate by calling Brett McCandlis Brown PLLC for a consultation. We can help you anywhere in the state. Call 800-925-1875 to schedule a consultation or ask a legal question online via our contact form.