The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported preliminary Florida bicycle crash data for the first quarter of 2019 (most recent available data). NHTSA says there were 1,695 bicycle accidents statewide with 40 fatalities and 1,588 injuries. 2018 data showed there were 6,568 bicycle crashes, resulting in 148 deaths and 6,175 injuries.
Florida has a large number of bicycles sharing the roads with other vehicles; this has a direct impact on the number of bicycle accidents. People choose bicycles over other modes of transportation because Florida has significant tourism, bicycle-friendly areas, and great weather.
Experts say Florida is one of the worst states for bicycle accidents. NHTSA found that the most common Florida bicycle accidents were the result of the following:
- Motorists who speed lose the ability to control their vehicles and react to changes while driving. Unsuspecting bicyclists can suffer catastrophic injuries due to the force of the impact during the collision.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving, such as texting, talking on a cell phone, or using GPS, makes it difficult to see bicyclists when they appear on the scene.
- Failure to yield. There are many accidents caused by motorists failing to yield at stop signs and intersections. There is also a problem with what is known as “dooring.” This is when someone opens a door in the path of a bicyclist.
- Drugged or drunk driving. A drugged, or drunk, driver has reduced vision and reaction time. This will increase the likelihood that the driver will not see a bicycle or have the ability to quickly react to avoid a collision.
- When there is inclement weather, drivers must prepare for all weather conditions, such as rain and fog. Failure to adhere to the weather conditions compromises a driver’s visibility which puts both the motorist and cyclist at risk.
The Florida Bicycle Association (FBA) supports statutory provisions in Florida to ensure the safety and rights of bicyclists. FBA is supporting Florida’s legislators to consider expanding the current Move Over Law to include people. This initiative is seeking bill sponsorship for the 2020 session.
FBA also wants to clean up statutory language with regard to definitions of sidewalks, crosswalks, lane position of bicyclists, and other related matters, as discussed and vetted by the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Focused Initiative (Alert Today Florida).
“We at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. have the experience required to assist you with your potential bicycle accident lawsuit. When choosing a law firm to represent you, I urge you to review our website at https://www.spiveylaw.com and case results at https://www.spiveylaw.com/settlements-and-verdicts/. We are available 24/7 to assist you, and there are no costs or attorney fees unless we obtain a monetary recovery for you,” said Port Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Randall Spivey.
Port Charlotte Personal Injury 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 percent (1%) 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 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 at 239.793.7748.