Drivers Have an Increased Duty of Care Responsibility around Child BicyclistsJuly 10, 2017 | Category: Bike Accidents, Child Injuries | Share
According to IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), children are involved in the majority of bicycle accidents with automobiles. These bicycle accidents can often result in serious or fatal injuries. In 2015, 818 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles and accounted for 2.3 percent of the 35,092 total U.S. fatalities that year.
- 91 of those fatalities were under the age of 20.
- 35 percent of child fatalities were on local roads.
- 44 percent of child fatalities occurred between the hours of 3 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Once children learn to ride a bicycle, they feel a new-found freedom and want to ride everyday and anywhere they can. There are hazards these new riders may not know.
NBC-2 News reported in November, 2016, that an 11-year-old boy died in the hospital after being hit by a vehicle less than a mile from his home in North Fort Myers. The boy had been working at a friend’s yard sale all day to help his parents buy formula for his baby sister. He was riding his bike home after dusk when he was struck by a pickup truck.
What is Duty of Care?
In Florida, drivers have the responsibility to exercise “Duty of Care” when driving. Duty of care refers to the obligation of an individual to act in a way that a reasonably prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances. This duty of care is especially important when sharing the road with child bicycle riders. In terms of carefulness, children are held to a lower standard when riding their bicycles.
During the summer months when children are no longer in school, they have more time to ride their bicycles. Because of this added time, drivers should expect that children will be present and are required to show an increase in care when driving. Drivers must be prepared to stop and pay more attention around neighborhoods and places where children frequent.
Even though motorists must exercise a duty of care when driving, parents can help young bicycle riders keep safe. They may do this by following the safety rules outlined by bikeam.com:
- Make sure your children always wear helmets.
- Teach your children to assume cars do not see them and to ride accordingly.
- Teach our children to obey all road rules, signs, signal turns, stop at lights and ride predictably.
- Ride local roads with your kids to show them which are safe to ride and to point out dangers such as pavement seams, grates, railroad tracks, jaywalkers, and how to deal with them. Make sure your kids understand the risk and show them how to safely enter roads, looking for cars first and proceeding carefully along the shoulder.
- Teach your kids basic bike maintenance. Let them carry your cell phone so they can call home if something goes wrong.
“If your child is injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, please contact our team of experienced child injury attorneys. There are no costs or attorney fees unless we make a monetary recovery for you,” said Cape Coral personal injury lawyer, Randall Spivey.
Cape Coral Personal Injury Lawyer, 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.