May is National Bike Month. Here in the Pacific Northwest, bicycling is both a popular means of daily transportation and a great outdoor activity the whole family can enjoy. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or the occasional cruiser, it’s important to be educated on Washington State bike laws before heading out the door this summer.
Unfortunately, there are unavoidable dangers when it comes to bicycling. The bicycle crash statistics are alarming. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were an estimated 48,000 bicyclists injured and 743 killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States in 2013. The number of bicycle crash fatalities have been steadily increasing the past decade. Although bicycle crashes involving motor vehicles are the most common, road hazards also present a great danger to bicyclists as well.
The best way to protect yourself from bicycle crashes is to be prepared. While there is no statewide law requiring helmet use, you should ALWAYS wear a helmet and other protective gear when riding. This safety tip might seem like a given, however you’d be surprised by the number of fatalities and injuries due to bicyclists not wearing proper safety equipment during crashes. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2009, 91 percent of bicyclists who were killed in collisions that year were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.
As an attorney for Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel, I’m here to support and help guide you in the event of a bicycle crash. We recently resolved a multimillion dollar case in which a promising young professional sustained a permanent traumatic brain injury due to the city’s failure to maintain safe roads designated for bicyclists. Cases like this one ultimately make our streets safer because real changes are made. They also provide much needed security to our clients who are often out of work due to their injuries. If you suffer an injury while riding a bike, or know anyone who has, don’t hesitate to contact me. We’ll fight make sure you get the justice you deserve.
On behalf of the team at EPIC, have fun and stay safe this summer.