Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are very prevalent in South Florida. In 2016, Florida had the second most fatalities involving a bicycle in the nation, just behind California, despite the fact that California has nearly twice the population of California. Florida bicycle fatalities accounted for 14% of the fatalities across the nation. Bicycle accidents happen for many reasons but have increased in recent years in part due to the use of cell phones and other technology both by riders of bicycles and drivers or vehicles.
Cyclists don’t have the protections that people who drive cars do because when they’re hit, it’s their body that takes the brunt of it, rather than a vehicle surrounding them. When a bicyclist gets into an accident, the results can be deadly. Below are three ways that cyclists can help protect themselves and prevent accidents from happening.
Obey Bicycle Laws
Obeying bicycle laws is the first step that can help provide the maximum amount of security and safety. The laws differ depending on the state, but in Florida, for the most part, the traffic laws consider bicycles the same as automobiles. What this means is that cyclists have to travel on the right side of the road, obey all traffic signals, and stop at traffic lights and stop signs. Even though cyclists have their own bike lanes, cyclists should be predictable and make sure that the drivers know where they’re going. Bicyclists are harder to see at night, so it’s recommended that they wear bright colors and have lights on their bicycles to make drivers aware of their presence. You can view various bicycles laws in Florida that were made for a bicyclist’s safety.
Wear A Helmet
Helmets can help prevent head injuries and potentially save cyclists lives. The U.S. Department of Transportation uses a Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) to report the causes of death for cyclists and in 2014. Their research revealed that 60% of cyclists that were killed were not wearing a helmet. Wearing a helmet is actually part of the law for cyclists. In fact, Florida Statute 316.2065(d) sets forth the standards for the type of helmet that must be worn. Failure to wear a helmet can result in a citation.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
There are also both environmental and infrastructure complications that can lead to bicycle accidents. Some roads were built only in consideration of cars, and may not be suitable to ride a bicycle. Additionally, there are some roads where bike lanes aren’t available or practical. This means bicyclists may unfortunately have to ride on roads that might not have bike lanes for them which can be dangerous. Bicyclists should be extra careful when crossing intersections and also be aware of buses and trucks because those types of vehicles have more blind spots.
Riding a bicycle is fun and a great way to get to a destination. Bicyclists are a big part of the road and culture in Broward County and other parts of South Florida, but it also has the potential to be very dangerous. Cyclists should use the techniques above to make sure that they stay safe and enjoy an accident-free experience.
Thompson Legal P.A is an established law firm in Davie, FL. They handle cases throughout Broward County involving bicycle accidents, and other personal injury accidents. For a free consultation, please call their law firm at (954) 510-3366