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Bicycle Collision Factors in Seattle

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Bicycle Collision Factors in Seattle

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Seattle ranks third in number of bicycle commuters so it might seem like a bicycle collision here and there is unavoidable. However, many collisions are caused by factors other than the bicyclist. Things like posted speed limit, a car’s failure to yield, whether a motorist was making a left turn, or even the number of street lights can have a big impact on the number of bicycle collisions in a certain area.

Cause and Effect of Bicycle Collision Factors

One study looked at over 1700 bicycle collision in Seattle. They included the following factors in their study:

  • Bicyclist socio-demographics
  • Motorist vehicle type
  • Traffic control
  • Motorist momentary behavior
  • Roadway design
  • Land use

They categorized the type of injury from the bicycle collision as follows:

  • Property damage only (PDO)
  • Possible injury (PI)
  • Evident injury (EI)
  • Severe injury or fatality (SIF)

Their data confirmed many factors that seem obvious to cause a bicycle collision: Older bicyclists were more likely to suffer from a SIF, large vehicles are more likely to cause a SIF, and that bicyclists who wore reflective clothing were much less likely to have severe injuries.

Yet the study also found some surprising factors that can either lessen or strengthen the chance of injuries in a bicycle collision. First, increasing the number of street lights leads to less severe injury from accidents. Second, motorists making a left turn and then colliding with a bicyclist are more likely to cause SIF. High-posted speed limits are also more likely to cause SIF.

The oddest factor they found, however, was that the higher the employment density, the less likely SIF occurred. Employment density is calculated by the number of businesses in the surrounding area and how many people actually work in the building. Therefore, the more large office buildings, the less likely severe injuries followed in a bicycle collision.

Whether you commute by bike or just out for a short ride, if you’ve been injured by a motor vehicle, The Advocates can help. We’ve got numerous experienced bicycle collision attorneys who have already obtained large settlements for previous clients who have been injured in a bicycle collision. Call us today to see if you have a possible case—the initial consultation is always confidential and completely free!

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