Bicyclists

Stickman Knows

Bicycle riding is fun, healthy, and a great way to be independent. But it is important to remember that a bicycle is not a toy; it’s a vehicle! Be cool – follow some basic safety tips when you ride.

Overview

Bicycling round town is a great way to enjoy our community and get some exercise in the process.  But without proper bike safety or a good understanding of the rules of the road, an enjoyable activity can turn deadly.  Stickman has created an informative video and some basic tips to help us stay safe on the roads of Spokane County.  So strap on your helmets and let's go!


Stickman Knows How to Be Safe Riding Your Bike


Top Safety Tips

tip13.png#asset:4066
1.  Obey all regulatory signs and traffic lights.                    
tip21_161117_123711.png#asset:4067                                              2.  Never ride against traffic. When a bicycle and car are moving towards each other, there is much less time to take corrective action. Ride with traffic to avoid potential accidents.
tip31_161117_123823.png#asset:4068                   
3.  Be predictable! Use hand signals to tell motorists what you intend to do.                                               
tip41_161117_123928.png#asset:4069                               
4.  Ride in a straight line to the right of traffic (on two-way streets) and a little more than a car-door width away from parked cars.        
tip51_161117_124131.png#asset:4070                5.  Always wear a helmet and never ride with headphones. Helmets dramatically reduce the risk of head injury in a bicycle crash.
tip61_161117_124238.png#asset:4071  6.  Use lights and reflectors at night and when visibility is poor.        


tip71_161117_124342.png#asset:4072         7.  Don't pass on the right. Motorists may not look for or see a bicycle passing on the right.
tip81_161117_124431.png#asset:4073             8.  Dress for the weather. Dress in layers so you can adjust to the temperature and always wear bright clothing.
tip91.png#asset:4074   9.  Keep your bike in good repair. Check brakes and tires regularly.       

“The best way to avoid collisions is to be prepared and be aware of other vehicles around you!”

Bicycles are legally considered "vehicles" on Washington’s roadways. That means bicyclists must obey the rules of the road like drivers of any other vehicle and must be treated as equal users by all other vehicles.

The best way to avoid collisions is to be prepared and be aware of other vehicles around you. Avoid common bicyclist errors and common motorist errors committed around bicyclists.


Did you know?

In Spokane County:

  • The age ranges most commonly involved in these collisions are 10-17 and 20-24 1 2 3
  • 4 out of 5 injured bicyclist are male. 3 There are more men than women hospitalized because of bike collisions. 2 A similar proportion of men and women bike.
  • The areas in Spokane County where most of the bicycle collisions happen are downtown Spokane, North Division, Franklin Park area, Argonne, and the area between Interstate 90 and Francis.
  • 75% of bicycle collisions happen within City of Spokane; 20% in Spokane Valley. 1
  • The peak time of when bicycle collisions tend to happen is 5:00 p.m. with 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. being the high range of the day. The highest rate of collisions happen in July with May-August being the highest range of months. There is no specific day of the week that is higher than the others. 1
  • When a bicyclist is at fault for a collision with a motorist, the main reasons are did not grant right of way to the vehicle and bicyclist traveling on the wrong side of the road. 5
  • It is a $261 penalty when a cyclist fails to yield right-of-way to a pedestrian and causes a collision.

Nationally:

  • Seventy percent of all bicycle deaths in 2009 occurred in urban areas. 8
  • Most of the bicyclists killed or injured in 2009 were males (87% and 80% respectively). 8
  • In 2009, the average age of bicyclists killed in traffic collisions was 41. 8
  • Bicycle helmet laws have proven effective in increasing bicycle helmet use. 8
  • Bicycle helmets prevent 52 to 60 percent of bike-related head injury deaths (for all ages), as well as an estimated 68 to 85 percent of nonfatal head and scalp injuries, and 65 percent of upper and middle face injuries, even when misuse is considered. 7
  • Nearly 630 children are injured daily due to bicycle-related crashes. 7

Resources:

1 SRTC Collision Data, Spokane County, 2007-2009

2 Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System (CHARS), Spokane County, 2000-2009

3 Emergency Room Data, Spokane County, 2003-2009

4 SRTC, Non-motorized Transport Survey, 2010

5 SRTC Bike and Pedestrian Collision Map, Spokane County, 2007-2009

6 WSDOT Collision Data, Spokane County, 2006-2009

7www.safekids.org

8 NHTSA's 2009 Traffic Safety Facts

9Washington State Patrol 2010 Annual Report

10 Washington State Patrol. For period ending May 15, 2011


Bicycle Laws

In Washington state:​

Bicycle Helmets - Currently, there is no state law requiring helmet use. However, in the City of Spokane, it is the law to wear a helmet when doing any wheeled sport (including bicycling).

Riding on the Road - When riding on a roadway, a cyclist has all the rights and responsibilities of a vehicle driver (RCW 46.61.755). Cyclists who violate traffic laws may be ticketed (RCW 46.61.750).

Roads Closed to Bicycles - Some designated sections of the state's limited access highway system may be closed to bicycles for safety reasons. For more information on roads closed to bicyclists, visit the Spokane Regional Transportation Council's Bicycle Map

In Spokane County, they are:

  1. Interstate 90-from Geiger interchange to Pines interchange
  2. Highway-195 from I-90 to Inland Empire Way
  3. Division Street - from North Foothills to Newport Highway

Children Bicycling - Parents or guardians may not knowingly permit bicycle traffic violations by their ward (RCW 46.61.700).

Riding Side by Side - Cyclists may ride side by side, but not more than two abreast (RCW 46.61.770).

Riding at Night - For night bicycle riding, a white front light (not a reflector) visible for 500 feet and a red rear reflector are required. A red rear light may be used in addition to the required reflector (RCW 46.61.780).

Shoulder vs. Bike Lane - Cyclists may choose to ride on the path, bike lane, shoulder or travel lane as suits their safety needs (RCW 46.61.770).

In Spokane County:

  • It is the law to wear a helmet when doing any wheeled sport (including bicycling).
  • In downtown Spokane, bicycling is not permitted on the sidewalk.
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