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Florida Bicycle Accident Attorneys

Throughout the state of Florida, bicyclists face the dangers of serious accidents and injuries each day.  What seems like every week, countless news reports of catastrophic bicycle accidents in cities such as Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville are issued. Local bicycle accident injury attorneys often see a steady influx of lawsuits and litigation linked to injured cyclists. Most bicycle riders wear protective helmets and obey applicable traffic laws, but nevertheless, not all bicycle accidents can be prevented. 

Cyclist Safety Tips 

In the state of Florida, all bike riders under the age of 16 are required by law to wear a properly fitted helmet while operating a bicycle. Florida authorities and safety advocates urge all cyclist to wear a helmet at all times, regardless of age. In addition, the following tips can help to keep bicyclists safe:

  1. Be visible – Wear bright, vibrant clothes when riding. Consider wearing a reflective safety belt or an orange vest for maximum visibility. If riding a bike after dark, install bicycle lights in addition to the bike’s reflectors. Modern LED bicycle lights are inexpensive and are highly visible from far distances.
  2. Make eye contact with drivers – Assume that other drivers don’t see you. Attempt to make eye contact with any driver who could pose a threat to your safety as a cyclist, such as cars slowing or stopped at an intersection, cars turning in from a roadway, and any car about to enter the roadway whose path you’re about to cross.
  3. Never ride wearing headphones – Cyclists need to remain alert and able to hear the sounds around them.  In some cases, riders can hear nearby vehicles or vehicles approaching at an excessive rate of speed.
  4. Scan the road behind you – Practice looking back over your shoulder until you become comfortable doing so without swerving or losing your balance. Look back a few times each minute when riding on busy roads. If you regularly ride in traffic, consider installing a side view mirror to help see cars behind you.

Bike Accidents and Injury Statistics

In Florida and the surrounding vicinity, the average number of serious bicycle accidents equates to at least one accident per week each year.  According to the Center for Head Injury and the NHTSA, the following statistics also apply to bicycle accidents:

  • 85% of head injuries in bicycle accidents can be prevented by wearing a helmet
  • 677 bicyclists died on US roads in 2011
  • 48,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic accidents in the US in 2011 (down from 52,000 in 2010)
  • Bicyclist deaths represent about 2% of the nation’s total annual traffic fatalities
  • At least 33% of bicycle accidents in Florida involve a car overtaking (passing) a cyclist headed in the same direction
  • About 75% of all bicyclists who die in accidents each year die from traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Most serious bicycle accidents involve a collision with a car or commercial truck. The majority of these bike accidents take place when motorists fail to yield to a cyclist in or near an intersection.  In any accident resulting in injury, a bicyclist should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to protect his/her rights to a potential claim.

References:

Florida Bicycle Law

NHTSA

The Center for Head Injury Statistics

Washington DOT

The Tampa Bay Times

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