Bike safety while riding in Seattle seems to be growing safer and more dangerous at the same time. While protected bike lanes are going up all over the city, more traffic on the road will mean more collisions between bikes and cars. Often, the roads themselves are filled with hazards, causing cyclists to become distracted as they try to avoid it.
Recently, a woman died from her injuries after hitting a streetcar rut which caught her bicycle tire. The Seattle Police Department released a statement concerning the incident claiming that the bike lane is safely out of the way of the streetcar rails with the point of crossing as perpendicular as possible. However, even having a perpendicular-to-the-rails crossing can cause accidents due to the change in the road and decrease bike safety.
A troubling aspect of this news is that these types of streetcar rails are all over Seattle, whether or not they are still in use. Many cyclists face the same danger as they go over old and worn rails, some not perpendicular to a bicycle’s tires. The tracks can also be wet from the constant drizzle Seattle gets in the cooler months, causing a cyclist who was planning on going over rails at a perpendicular angle to slip, become stuck, or lose balance.
What can Seattle do to mitigate possible accidents and enhance bike safety? In many Western European cities that have masses of cyclists, many have what’s known as a “box turn”. At an intersection, there is usually a green painted box across the intersection where a bike can turn ninety degrees to go the other way, eliminating any possible non-perpendicular crossing over streetcar rails. Setting up these types of boxes over Seattle could reduce some bike accidents and increase bike safety.
I’ve Been Injured while Riding My Bike
If you’ve hit a streetcar rail rut causing you to be injured by either a motor vehicle or a streetcar then you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries you have sustained. The Advocates are experienced bike accident attorneys who are here to help you through every step of the process. Our attorneys will help you get back on your bike riding in no time. Give us a call today!