Florida - One of the Top 10 States for Bicycle AccidentsJune 18, 2018 | Category: Bike Accidents | Share
For sport, recreation, or as a mode of transportation, the popularity of bicycle riding continues for all ages. Although it is normally an enjoyable outdoor activity, it can become a nightmare when a bicyclist is involved in an accident with another vehicle. BikeLeague.org points out that Florida has consistently ranked as one of the top 10 states for bicycle accidents and fatalities in the nation. When a crash happens between a bicyclist and another moving vehicle such as a car, truck or SUV, the bicyclist is more likely to be injured or even killed.
How big is the problem?
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) says that in 2015, the U.S. had more than 1,000 bicyclist deaths, and almost 467,000 bicycle-related injuries.
Looking at 2010 data (latest published) fatal and non-fatal crash-related injuries to bicyclists resulted in lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of $10 billion.
Bicyclists have the same rights to roadways as motorists
Florida legally recognizes a bicycle as a vehicle. Because of this, bicyclists are granted the same rights to the roadways as other vehicles, and they must obey the same traffic laws as other vehicle operators. These traffic laws include stopping for stop signs and red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, using lights at night, and yielding the right-of-way when entering a roadway.
Researchers consistently find that the majority of bicycle accidents are caused by motor vehicle operators. The most frequent causes are:
- Drivers turn into a bicycle’s path when traveling in the same direction.
- Drivers turn left into the path of an on-coming bicyclist.
- Drivers rear-end bicyclists.
- Drivers sideswipe or open their doors in front of a bicyclist.
7 safety tips for drivers when sharing the road with cyclists
Esurance.com recommends these 7 tips for motorists:
- Allow extra space when passing cyclists: Make sure you have at least 3 to 4 feet of space between you and a cyclist.
- Slow down: Reduce your speed when approaching and passing a cyclist. This also lets tailing drivers know there is a reason to slow down ahead.
- Think of bikes as cars: Legally speaking, they are (or at least have the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles). So give them the appropriate right-of-way and treat them with the same consideration you would give another driver.
- Better yet, think of bikes as cars without safety features: No seat belts or crumple zones, no air bags. Just a bicycle frame and hopefully a bike helmet. So while treating cyclists like drivers is legally accurate, it does not hurt to give them a little added leeway to help ensure their safety.
- Keep your eyes open: Cyclists can be hard to see, especially in your mirror's "blind spots." Pay special attention driving through intersections and when parallel parking. Once you park, take a quick look for oncoming cyclists before opening your door.
- Be extra cautious around child cyclists: Expect the unexpected when you see a child on a bike. Slow to a safer speed and give them as much room as you safely can.
- Look for the signals: Keep an eye out for the left turn, right turn, and stop signals given by cyclists.
“If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash between a motor vehicle and bicycle, contact the experienced legal team at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. to determine your rights. There are no costs or attorney fees unless we make a monetary recovery for you,” says Fort Myers Bicycle Accident 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.