The Risks of the Road for Bicyclists
Local 10 News recently reported that a bicyclist was killed in a collision with an SUV in Hollywood. The bicyclist, identified only as a man in his 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene while the female driver was taken to a local hospital. Photographs from the accident show a mangled bicycle and authorities have determined that the blue Isuzu Rodeo had slammed into a wall after somehow running off the roadway. The front-end of the vehicle sustained significant damage and, most tragically, this collision led to the bicyclist being fatally injured.
Understanding the Risks of the Road for Bicyclists
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bicycle trips account for only 1 percent of all trips in the United States and yet, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash related injury and deaths than occupants in motor vehicles which included over 1,000 deaths in 2015 alone. Disturbingly, statistics published by the National Safety Council indicate that bicyclist deaths have actually increased 30 percent in the last 10 years, a fact made even more alarming because the number of preventable nonfatal injuries has in fact declined during that time. Unfortunately, Florida is consistently one of the states leading the way in national rankings of these grim statistics and between the lack of bicycle lanes and the abundance of heavy traffic present in much of the Sunshine State, collisions are, unfortunately, bound to happen.
How Can Bicyclists Stay Safe on the Road?
Drivers have a duty under Florida law to drive carefully and responsibly around cyclists and anyone else sharing the road. However, those who participate in bicycling should also undertake actions to help keep themselves safe on the road while enjoying this activity. Safety measures bicyclists should undertake include:
- Obtain a helmet that fits properly
- Make sure your bicycle is in good working order
- Never drink or do drugs before riding your bicycle
- Obey signs and traffic signals
- Stay in the designated bicycle lane
- Always travel in the same direction as cars
- Lookout for and avoid road hazards like potholes and cracked concrete
- If wearing headphones, ensure you can still hear what is happening around you
- Use hand signals and call out before changing lanes or turning
- Avoid distracted behavior such as using your cell phone while riding
Have You or a Loved One Been Hit by a Car While Bicycling?
Unfortunately, all of the safety tips in the world cannot prevent every accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident due to the fault of someone else, we can help. As the Fort Myers personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm, we understand how serious and life changing the resulting injuries can be and how confusing it can be to understand where to turn. We will help you face every challenge and we offer the legal help you need to be successful with your claim. Contact us for help today.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Ocala, Tampa, Bradenton, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach and Daytona Beach areas.