News Detail

Geoff Boynton emphasizes the safety risks of distracted driving in a Daily of the University of Washington article.

Seattle bike safety may still hinge on distracted driving, even after new legislation

Max Wasserman The Daily

Graduate student Colby Samstag raced bikes for years without incident, but that changed the day a car pulled in front of him as he raced downhill at over 40 miles per hour, becoming his first accident in a string of unfortunate encounters with reckless drivers.

Later on, it would be a hit-and-run on the state Route 520 bridge. After that, getting doored near Husky Stadium. Once, the wiry genome researcher was grazed by a truck on the Lake Washington Loop, a measly three inches of space, the difference between life and death. Had he not retired from bike racing, the list might have gone on.

“In Seattle, I’m so on edge with drivers that sometimes I don’t think it’s possible to be cautious enough,” Samstag said.

Samstag is only one voice among thousands of bike-riders who are frustrated with negligent drivers, a problem that Seattle has so far struggled with. Distracted driving has been largely responsible for the recent nationwide surge in traffic related accidents. In Seattle, it’s the leading cause of traffic related accidents, having surpassed impairment and speeding in the past five years.

Read the entire article here .