Okay, Fine, It's WarCyclists are dying, collisions are rising, and people who claim that there is a "War on Cars" are out of control-it's time for a reality check and an action plan.
The news staff at The Stranger asked Davis Law Group's founder, Chris Davis, to offer his views on the apparent rise in bicycle accidents with automobiles in western Washington state. Davis is a personal injury attorney practicing law in Seattle and specializing in bicycle accident law in Washington State. Davis has handled dozens of such cases in which cyclists are either seriously injured or killed. And he is the author of Wheels of Justice: The Essential Guide to Bicycle Accident Law in Washington State.
Below is an excerpt from The Stranger article entitled Okay, Fine, It's War published on September 14, 2011.
Chris Davis, an attorney who specializes in representing cyclists and pedestrians hit by cars, says the number of those cases coming to him "has been increasing steadily over the last couple years." Typically, he's had one dozen to two dozen of each type of case annually. But recently his number of such cases climbed by 20 to 30 percent.
Why more cases?
In part, Davis credits more cyclists on the road-including some who "ignore laws." Also out there, Davis adds, are more "ignorant motorists to endanger cyclists." Yes, confrontational cyclists can contribute to the problem, Davis says, but he thinks that overall "anti-cyclist sentiment" is the major factor in the increase in cases he's seeing.
"Motorists will become frustrated and crowd bicyclists and not give them enough room, come up on the bicyclists fast and out of frustration," he says. "The frustration translates into actions, sometimes intentional acts against the cyclist."
Davis's experiences-more injuries, more clients-appear to be borne out by citywide data that shows more collisions.