Bicycle Accidents and Fatalities on the RiseNovember 28, 2016 | Category: Bike Accidents, Personal Injury | Share
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center says that California, Florida, and Texas continue to lead the nation in the number of bicyclist fatalities. Nearly one-third of all injuries and fatalities are caused by bicyclists being struck by cars.
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports that in 2014, 726 people lost their lives in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes, just under two people every day of the year in the U.S. In 2015, bicyclist fatalities increased by 89 to 815, and are at their highest level since 1995.
- On November 8, 2016 a bicycle officer from the Marco Island Police Department was struck by a car, the department said. The officer was treated and released from the hospital with minor injuries after a collision near Elkcam Circle and Bald Eagle Drive. The driver was cited for a failure to yield.
- A 20-year-old University of Florida senior was killed Friday, October 28, 2016 while riding her bicycle. She was the victim of a traffic crash with a garbage truck, according to the Gainesville Police Department. Gainesville police say the garbage truck was heading south on NW 17th Street approaching the intersection of W. University Avenue in Gainesville. The university student crossed W. University on her bike when the truck made a right turn and hit her.
What can be done to make roadways safer for bicyclists?
Officials believe education about the importance of sharing the roadways will help reduce fatalities and injuries. The Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Ride Smart Florida, and others are collaborating to remind motorists that there is “only one road, and we must share it.”
Col. Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol gives these tips for motorists and bicyclists:
- It’s crucial that all drivers use caution around vulnerable road users.
- Drivers should always be alert and watch for bicycles.
- Motorists should remember to maintain a safe distance when traveling behind a bicycle and to increase that distance during bad weather or when road conditions warrant. Experts recommend a “four-second” buffer between vehicles and bicycles.
- Give bicyclists a minimum of three feet of clearance when driving alongside or passing them.
- Yield to bicyclists. Make a visual check for bicyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic.
- Reduce your speed when passing bicyclists, especially when the road is narrow.
- Avoid using high beam headlights when you see a bicyclist approaching.
- Before opening a car door, check for bicyclists who may be approaching from behind.
- Never honk your horn at a bicyclist; it could cause them to swerve into traffic or off the roadway and crash.
- Children on bicycles are often unpredictable; expect the unexpected.
- Bicyclists should do everything possible to make themselves visible to motorists while riding. Add reflective gear to your bike.
- Signal all turns.
- Don’t ride more than two side by side.
- Ride on the roadway or shared pathways.
- Follow the same rules of the road as other roadway users, including riding in the same direction as traffic and following all the same traffic signs and signals.
“Being injured by a motor vehicle while bicycling can be a traumatic experience for the bicyclist and his/her family. When injured, seek medical treatment immediately, and then contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. so our experienced team may assist you,” said Fort Myers Bicycle Safety Attorney, Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers Bicycle Accident Attorney,Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.