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Bicycle Safety Tips for Motorists in Seattle
Seattle is well-known for being a bike-friendly city. With its beautiful landscapes and extensive network of bike lanes and trails, it’s no wonder why cycling is such a popular mode of transportation in the city.
However, despite the city’s efforts to promote bicycle safety, accidents can still occur. As a motorist, it is crucial to be aware of your surroundings and take steps to ensure the safety of all road users, including bicyclists. Here are some important bicycle safety tips for motorists in Seattle to help prevent accidents and protect those on two wheels.
Stay Alert and Remain Vigilant
Staying alert and remaining vigilant while driving is crucial for the safety of both motorists and cyclists. In Seattle, cyclists can be found everywhere, especially in areas with designated bike lanes. As such, drivers should watch out for cyclists and be aware of their hand signals indicating a turn. It is also important to avoid distractions like using mobile phones or other activities that can take attention away from the road.
Being aware of cyclists can help prevent accidents and keep everyone safe. For example, a driver who is paying attention will be able to see a cyclist turning and avoid making a maneuver that could lead to a collision. Additionally, when a driver is alert, he or she can avoid accidentally cutting off a cyclist or hitting the bike from behind.
Respect Cyclists’ Right of Way
Cyclists have the same right to use the road as cars and trucks. As such, motorists need to respect their right of way at all times. This means respecting the standard rules of the road, including obeying traffic signals and stopping at stop signs and red lights. When turning across bike lanes or making right turns, drivers must always check for cyclists and provide them with enough space to maneuver.
Tailgating is never safe, and it’s especially dangerous when it comes to bicycles. When passing cyclists, drivers must give them at least three feet of clearance. This not only helps prevent accidents but also helps prevent collisions with debris or obstacles on the road.
When a driver follows a cyclist too closely, it can be intimidating, leading the cyclist to lose focus and make dangerous moves. Giving a bike enough space not only keeps the cyclist safe but also gives him or her the confidence to ride without feeling threatened.
Do Not Pass Unless It’s Safe
Passing a cyclist can be tempting, especially when in a hurry. However, drivers must always make sure that it is safe to pass before doing so. Ensure that there is no oncoming traffic and that there is enough space to pass the cyclist safely. Drivers should also avoid passing when approaching an intersection or when the cyclist is preparing to turn.
Speak to a Washington Bicycle Accident Attorney
While these tips can help motorists and cyclists share the road safely, not all drivers follow the rules. If you are injured in a bicycle accident in Seattle, you have the right to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the negligent motorist. A Washington bicycle accident attorney can help you understand your legal options and fight for your right to fair compensation.
After your accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible and save all records related to the collision. Then, schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case and identify your optimal path to financial recovery.