A bicyclist in Florida is legally allowed to ride on the road and contrary to popular belief, bicyclists are safer on the road than on the sidewalk. Since 2001, Florida has been ranked as the state with the highest number of bicycle accident fatalities. Negligent motorists cause the majority of Florida bicycle accidents, but occasionally, the accident is the fault of the cyclist. Bicyclists need to communicate with motorists using hand signals and making eye contact.
Injuries from a Sarasota or Bradenton Bicycle Accident:
A bicycle has no seatbelts or airbags and offers very little protection when involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. A bicyclist can also lose control on the road because of debris or uneven pavement. Bicycle accident victims can sustain the following injuries:
- Head trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Florida's Roads Are Not Safe for Bicyclists:
Many of Florida's more densely populated areas have roads that are poorly designed with regards to bicyclists and pedestrians. There are many high traffic, high-speed arterial roads in Florida. In 2011, there were 125 bicycle accident fatalities in Florida which is about three times the national average. Florida has about 6% of the U.S. population, but 17.4% of all bicycle accident fatalities occur in Florida. The counties with the highest number of bicycle accident fatalities are:
- Palm Beach
Tips for Avoiding Florida Bicycle Accidents:
The following tips from the Florida Bicycle Association can help prevent bicycle accidents:
- Know and follow the rules
- First come, first served
- Always ride in the same direction as traffic
- Yield to traffic before entering a road
- Obey all traffic control devices
- Integrate into the intersections
- Turn left from left-turn lanes
- Never ride straight in a right turn lane
- Be mindful of your surroundings
- Make sure you are visible to traffic
- Never ride within five feet of a parked vehicle
- Never pass a large truck on the right
Reasons for Florida Bicycle Accidents:
Most Florida bicycle accidents occur due to negligent or inattentive drivers. A Florida bicycle accident can occur from any of the following scenarios:
- A driver is impaired by alcohol and/or drugs and collides with a cyclist.
- A driver turns directly into the path of a cyclist.
- A driver fails to look both ways at an intersection
- A driver pulls into the street from a parking space or driveway and drives directly into the bicyclist's path.
Another major reason for the high number of Florida bicycle accidents is our warm weather and an abundance of outdoor activities. Also, Florida has seen a population explosion over the last few decades. Florida also has many tourists who are not familiar with our busy streets. Approximately 80 million tourists visit Florida every year. Additionally, Florida's roads and highways undergo frequent construction projects which cause confusion for tourists and local residents as well.
Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida:
If you have sustained injuries in a Sarasota or Bradenton bicycle accident due to a negligent driver, please call the Michael L. Morgan Law Group, P.A., at (941) 218-8220. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no fee unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Please call us to schedule a free consultation.