A Seattle bicycle accident attorney discusses how both cyclists and motorists can help make bike lanes safer and prevent future cyclist accidents and injuries.

How to Safely & Politely Navigate Bike Lanes in Seattle

Andrew Kim
Connect with me
Personal Injury, Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Wrongful Death and Catastrofic Injuries Attorney

Last week, the Reasonably Polite Seattleites installed reflective posts along the bike lane on Cherry Street in an effort to raise awareness of bike lane safety—and in order to let the Seattle Department of Transportation know how easy it may be to add safety features to bike lanes around the city. 

While Seattle contemplates a bicycle master plan that would add a number of improvements for cyclists around the city, there are steps both cyclists and motorists can take to prevent bike accidents involving bike lanes: 

  • Motorists should be especially careful of making right turns on streets with bicycle lanes, as cyclists may be continuing straight. At the same time, cyclists should be aware of cars making right turns in front of them. 
  • Whether the bike lane appears on the outside or inside of car parking, it is vital for cyclists to be wary of occupants opening the doors of parked cars. Likewise, motorists should check for approaching cyclists when exiting vehicles on a road with bike lanes. 
  • Motorists should be aware that cyclists are not confined to the bike lane and may still be using the main roadway, especially when turning. Many motorists make the mistake of not looking out for bike riders on the road outside of a bike lane. 
  • Cyclists should pass other cyclists on the left and only when traffic is clear enough to do so. In many cases, cyclists are preoccupied with cars and other vehicles and forget to prevent collisions with other cyclists. 
  • In the presence of a bike lane, signaling is more important than ever, for both cyclists and motorists. 
  • Never travel in the wrong direction in the bicycle lane (sometimes called salmoning). It is dangerous, inconsiderate, and against the law. 
  • While many streets do not have posted speed limits for cycling, you should still be aware of your speed and slow down in heavy traffic or poor weather. 
  • Both cyclists and motorists should be aware of the presence of pedestrians. At the same time, pedestrians should look for both cars and bicyclists when crossing the street. 

The Andrew Kim Law Firm handles a wide range of Seattle personal injury cases, including bicycle accident and injury cases across Washington State. To learn more about your rights to compensation, speak to an experienced Seattle attorney today. Andrew Kim offers free, confidential consultations: 1.800.636.3676.