Cycling Accidents & Bicycle Accidents
Cycling is making a big comeback and with Florida’s beautiful year-round weather, many take to the roadways (AIA) or off-road (track, trails) for biking. People ride bicycles from many different reasons, including transportation, sport (racing, touring, triathlons), recreation, and health and fitness.
Bicyclists have the same legal rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles when driving on public roadways (streets, highways). It’s important to know Florida’s cycling laws and your rights if you are injured by a car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian while on your bike.
Did you know that Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the nation for cycling, accounting for 1 in every 6 cycling deaths nationwide? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that of the 2,978 traffic fatalities in Florida in 2008, 125 were bicyclists. Nationwide, 716 bicyclists died in 2008, and 52,000 more suffered a cycling accident-related injury. Cycling injuries often include broken bones and fractures (collarbone, ribs, hip and wrists), catastrophic injuries (brain injuries, spinal cord injuries), and even death.
Some of the common types of collisions include:
- A driver turning directly in front of a bicyclist
- A driver entering the street from a driveway or parking space pulls out into traffic in front of the bicyclist
- A driver fails to yield at an intersection
- A driver fails to stop at a stop sign or red stop light
- A driver’s inattention or distraction (cell phone, texting) while driving past a bicyclist
- A driver fails to look both ways when resuming travel after stopping at a stop sign
- A driver impaired by drugs or alcohol
Additional causes for a bicycle accident include unsafe conditions or premises, such as an uneven sidewalk, poor roadways, and unmarked curbs or crosswalks. Cycling accident can also be caused by equipment or accessories (forks, handlebars, seatpost, pedals, helmet) that are defective or fail to perform consistently with reasonable consumer expectations or with applicable standards imposed by federal and state consumer protection laws and regulations.
By law, a bicycle rider or passenger under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet. Wearing a bike helmet is recommended to reduce the risk of a serious head injury while biking. However, if you are in an accident where your helmet hits the street, ground, vehicle, etc., the helmet should be replaced—the safety features of the helmet have most likely been compromised and won’t protect you in the event of another crash or bike accident. The good news is that many reputable helmet manufacturers will replace your helmet for free after a crash to promote cycling safety and to avoid liability for a helmet that has ceased to work.
Some of the bigger locations people deal with cycling accidents are:
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a cycling accident due to the negligence of a car or truck driver, motorcyclist, pedestrian, or a defective product and would like to learn more about your legal rights, please contact Baker & Zimmerman by calling (954) 509-1900 or our toll free number, 1-(800) 886-LAWS. Our personal injury and cycling accident law firm offers free consultations and charges you only if we win your case.