This story from Seattle is worth noting because it highlights one of the things bike riders in an urban environment fear most, and one of the types of Oregon and Washington bicycle accident that is most easily preventable – and one for which there is never really any good excuse.
According to West Seattle Blog, a local online publication, a cyclist in the Seattle area was hospitalized yesterday after “a car door opened in front of him causing him to flip over the door.” Quoting local police, the blog reports that despite the fact that he was not wearing a helmet the rider, a 30-year-old man, “remained conscious and responsive but could not remember the accident,” when police and emergency services personnel arrived to help him. He was taken to a local hospital “in stable condition.” The fact that the victim could not remember the accident is an especially worrisome sign – indicating a possible traumatic brain injury.
Several notable issues arise from this short item. The Washington bicycle accident is a reminder of how dangerous riding in a city can be – even a city as bike-friendly as ours are here in the Pacific Northwest. The victim in this accident appears to be extremely lucky, especially granted that he was not wearing a helmet. It is worth adding that the accident he experienced – being launched head-first over the handlebars – is just about the most dangerous kind of bike accident a rider can be involved in. That is why it is especially important that drivers always remember to look carefully before opening a car door. Checking one’s mirror alone is not sufficient: people getting out of a car need to turn around and look directly behind and beside the vehicle. We are all aware of our cars’ blind spots when they are moving. That awareness should not cease just because the car is parked.
Of all the imaginable bicycle vs car encounters this is arguably the most easily preventable type. It is important that people responsible for accidents like this one be held accountable for their actions, but from the perspective of an Oregon bicycle accident lawyer, the easiest and best way to prevent Portland bicycle accidents is for cyclists and drivers alike to respect the rules of the road and exercise due caution. “Share the Road” should be more than a slogan – it should be second nature for anyone behind the wheel in Oregon, Washington or anywhere else.
West Seattle Blog: Bicycle rider collides with car door, taken to hospital