Pre-Dawn Death in Bicycle Accidentavoid a bicycle accident: share the road

Police and firefighters were called to the scene of a bicycle and vehicle crash early Sunday morning in a Ballard neighborhood. A car struck a cyclist in the 7000 block of Seaview Ave NW, near the Shilshole Bay Marina.

Firefighters attempted to treat the bicyclist but he died at the scene.

Police are still investigating how the collision occurred. Officers said the driver of the vehicle did show signs of impairment, although was released after questioning by police.

Cycling: Just Another Vehicle on the Road?

Washington state law considers bicycles as vehicles on Washington’s roadways. That means that cyclists have the responsibility to obey all traffic signs, street markings, and traffic laws.

Because their “vehicle” is notably different than motorized vehicles in size and safety amenities, it does not discount cyclists ability and need to ride safely and obey the law.

Lots of Reasons to Ride

Riding a bike is a popular recreational activity for kids and adults alike. Cycling is a basic form of transportation for many adults across the world, as well as an economical and popular form of exercise. In fact, in the United States alone, 67 million people ride bikes for an estimated total of 15 billion hours of riding each year. As you might expect, injuries can and do occur with that many bikes.

Researchers in the Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology at the Seattle Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center wanted to learn more about bicycle injuries and their risk factors. In a study recently published in the journal Injury Prevention, Frederick P. Rivara and others collected data from patients who suffered bicycle injuries leading them to visit emergency rooms at seven Seattle area hospitals over a 2 ½ year period.

Injuries and Risks

After reviewing questionnaires and phone surveys, the researchers had some surprising findings and statistics about bicycle injuries and risk factors for serious injuries:

  1. Over 70% of patients who suffered cycling injuries were Male.
  2. Almost half of the patients were 12 and younger.
  3. 62% of the injured bicyclists rode their bikes daily.
  4. Experienced cyclists suffered injuries as well. Of the adults and teenagers older than 14, about 36% rode more than 50 miles per week.
  5. Only 50.7% of those injured were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.
  6. About 3 in 5 (59.6%) suffered injuries to the upper extremity. About 20% suffered head injuries.
  7. Hitting the ground was the most common cause of injury (50%); colliding with obstacles caused 29% of injuries, and collision with a motor vehicle caused 15.3%.
  8. Children 12 and under had 2x a greater risk of serious injury compared to adults.
  9. Riders not wearing helmets were 14.3 times more like to die in a bike crash than those wearing helmets.

ride safely to avoid a bicycle accidentHow to be Safer on a Bike

In order to hit the road with confidence, cyclists must follow the rules of the road.

Cyclists should always wear a helmet. Researchers calculated that wearing a helmet was associated with a 93% decrease in the risk of fatality! That’s a tremendous safety feature worth investing in.

The League of Bicyclists say that bicyclists should also do the following:

Perform a Basic Bike Check.  They suggest that every cyclist perform this safety check of their bike before taking it out on the road. There’s an easy way to remember what to look for by this acronym: ABC Quick Check.

A is for Air

  • Inflate tires to the pressure listed on the side of the tire.
  • Use a pressure gauge to insure proper pressure.
  • Check for damage on tires and replace if damaged or worn out.

B is for Brakes

  • Inspect pads for wear; replace if there is less than 1/4″ of pad left.
  • Check pad adjustment; make sure they do not rub the tire.
  • Look to see that you can fit your thumb between the brake lever handlebar when the brakes are squeezed all the way.

C is for Cranks and Chain

  • Pull your cranks away from the bike–if they are loose, tighten the bolt.
  • Check that your chain is free from rust and build up.

Quick is for Quick Releases

  • Make sure your quick releases are all closed.
  • They should all be pointing to the back of the bike so that they don’t get caught on anything.

Check is for “Check it Over”

Our Bicycle Accident, Auto Accident, and Personal Injury Lawyers are Here to Help

A large percentage of crashes can be avoided if motorists and cyclists follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other. But as millions of cyclists intermingle with motorists, there’s bound to be a mishap here are there.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle or motor vehicle accident, contact Fielding Law Group today. Our team of experienced legal professionals can help you get the compensation you are entitled to. So leave the worries to them and remember-Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!