No, not a motorcycle. (Although if you ride a motorcycle, you should get insurance for it. Why? Because you may need it to protect yourself if an uninsured driver hits you. Read more about it here, and click here for a quote.)
But we digress.
We are talking about a bicycle. Riding a bicycle is getting more and more popular here in the Northwest. In fact, Washington was named the “Nation’s Number One Bicycle Friendly State” for the third year in a row! Estimates show that about a third of Seattle’s residents engage in recreational bicycling, and about 4,000-8,000 commuters regularly use their bikes to get to work.
In a recent poll, PEMCO Insurance discovered that 87% of Washingtonians understand that traffic and safety rules are valid for both bikers and drivers, and bikers can be ticketed just like drivers for violating them. 45% consider the laws fair for both drivers and cyclists, and wouldn’t revise them to favor one group. That said, more than half (54%) thought that cyclists should be ticketed when riding on a sidewalk (which, currently, is legal for bicyclists).
62% know that it’s illegal to ride a bike in a lane used by oncoming traffic, but only 23% of drivers are aware that it’s OK for cyclists to ride two abreast in a lane of traffic.
While there is no statewide helmet law, most cities and counties have a helmet law, and enforce it, too. Yet, about one quarter of all cyclists think it’s legal to ride without a helmet. Over 50% of bicyclists say they always wear their helmet, and an additional 20% say they usually wear one.
WSDOT has put together a very helpful website especially for bicyclists: Click here for valuable information, updates on bicycle laws, and safety tips.
Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!