Paul Andrews

Rider Down: Ya Win Some…

In Bicycle Commuting, Rider Down on February 15, 2009 at 1:21 pm

HeraldNet: “Snohomish County pays $300,000 to settle cyclist’s claim.”

300 large isn’t a bad payout, all things considered. The cyclist was dressed in dark clothing and had no lights on the bike, according to the article. The lessons are obvious.

The problem for cyclists is always having to defend ourselves, no matter what the circumstances, because of cases like this. Drivers and the population in general get used to blaming cyclists automatically, the way rape victims used to get blamed automatically. Reversing this cultural meme is a tall order.

This case illustrates how hard it is to really assess blame. Good for the cyclist, although he undoubtedly would have preferred full use of his elbows for the rest of his life.

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