A hit-and-run collision in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood a couple of weeks back raised many concerns among officials. Now, many bicycle safety advocates are urging riders to be aware of the potential dangers of trying to cross certain intersections.
According to a study carried out by a local attorney, data from between 2013 and 2017 shows that there are 35 zones in the state that pose dangers to riders. These areas are important because they are where five or more collisions took place within that period.
The study shows that Seattle is the most dangerous place. After all, 85 percent of the accidents happened there. And when it comes to Seattle, the downtown corridor is where most of the crashes occur.
Some areas, the attorney said, have no accident reports involving bicycles. That might be because bicycle riders avoid those areas altogether thanks to how dangerous they are. Those locations include West Seattle, Lake City Way, and Rainier Beach. The same place where the deadly hit-and-run accident happened recently.
Other areas that are especially dangerous to bicycle riders include Bellingham and Olympia. Along with Seattle, they were at the top of the list thanks to the dangerous roads in these locations.
Unfortunately for riders, they are much more likely to be in a crash while trying to cross an intersection than other non-intersection locations. Male riders are also more likely to die thanks to these accidents. According to the study, 42 men were killed while six women died as a result of their accident-related injuries.
While officials did implement some improvements to some of these regions, there’s a lot of work left to do. Especially when it comes to making all Washingtonians less likely to expose bicycle riders to risks.
More than working on infrastructure to boost bike safety, the researcher found, government should be investing in more education and awareness. By teaching drivers to keep an eye out for riders, they could help to prevent accidents. In addition, Enforcement is another area that requires improvement, he said.
Most importantly, the researcher says that cyclists and drivers alike must be patient. Drivers in particular must stop being distracted while behind the wheel. He says that drivers are looking at their phones much too often while operating their vehicles, ignoring riders in the process. This is one of the main factors in these accidents.
For more on this study, follow this link.