Seattle has a reputation as a very bike-friendly city, but the streets can still be a dangerous place for cyclists. A 2018 article in the Seattle Times noted that both cyclist and pedestrian fatalities have increased by 200% across the state since 2013.
If you regularly ride your bike in the city, stay safe with these important traffic tips.
Obey the laws
Bikes must follow the same traffic laws as cars in Washington. Follow lane markings at intersections depending on whether you are turning or riding straight. Although you may ride your bike on the sidewalk in Seattle, remember that pedestrians have the right of way.
Never pass a car on the right or ride against traffic, which decreases the likelihood that a driver will see you. Always use a red light at the rear of your bike and a white light in the front when you ride at night. Make eye contact with motorists to confirm that they see you. Stay at least three feet away from parked cars as well as from vehicles in the roadway, especially trucks.
Review bike lane markings
Seattle has implemented traffic signals that pertain to cyclists. Double arrows with an image of a bike indicate that motorists and cyclists must share the lane. At intersections with a green bike box, you can legally cross the intersection ahead of traffic when it is safe to do so. At a multi-lane intersection with a bike box, you can wait for the red light in the box as well as turn left from the vehicle lane. At an intersection with a bike detector signal, shaped like a T, you can place your bike on the mark to trigger the green light.
If you experience a severe injury in a collision with an automobile, the driver may have financial liability. You can seek legal damages for medical bills, lost wages and other associated costs.