Bicycle Vs. Car – The Deadly Consequences of Bicycle Accidents in South Florida
It should come as no surprise that when a bicyclist meets a car in an accident setting, the bicyclist is generally the loser. With the renewed popularity of biking, we are also seeing an uptick in serious accidents involving the bicycle-meets-car scenario.
In February, we witnessed a tragic fatality in Boca Raton when a 68-year-old woman was struck and killed by a pickup truck while she was riding her bicycle west on Spanish River Blvd. In 2020 alone, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported over 5,000 crashes involving bicycles.
Bicycle accidents in Florida remain a public safety issue around our state. In an area where roadways are built for motor vehicles and speed, bicycles are even more vulnerable to accidents, and our roads continue to be deadly for bicyclists.
Why Are Florida Roads So Dangerous for Bicyclists?
In a recent article in U.S. News and World Report, Florida was named the third most dangerous state for bicyclists in the nation and first in the nation for bicycle fatalities. Many factors may contribute to this, including
- Weather that is conducive to riding
- Wide, fast roads not built to accommodate bicycles or pedestrians
- Outdated infrastructure
- Reckless drivers
- Distracted drivers
- Impaired drivers
- Tourists who are unfamiliar with the roads
- An elderly population
- Construction and road work
- Lack of bicycle lanes and bicycle-friendly sidewalks
Put all these factors together, and you get an area that is not particularly bicycle friendly.
Most bicycle accidents are caused by driver error. Many drivers cause serious accidents by
- Driving inattention
- Failure to yield
- Impaired driving
- Failure to share the road
- Failure to follow traffic laws
- Making an unlawful left turn
- Making a right hood in front of a bicyclist
- Pulling out from a side street
In most cases, bicycle accidents are caused by driver error and negligence. In this case, a driver can be held liable for any injuries to the bicyclist.
Roadways in Florida have never been engineered with bicyclists and pedestrians in mind. Instead, highways have become wider, speed limits faster, and very few bike lane accommodations have been made to ensure biker safety.
More Bikers on the Roads
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bike commuting has increased by 65 percent in the last few years. In addition, more cars are on the road than ever before. While cars are safer, bicycling has become more dangerous in Florida.
While most bicycle accidents are the fault of a driver, bicyclists must take caution when they head out to ensure that they are driving safely as well. Florida law requires that bicyclists abide by the same rules of the road as drivers of vehicles.
A bicyclist can be proactive about their own safety by
- Always riding with a helmet
- Wearing bright and highly visible clothing
- Making sure the bike is equipped with numerous reflectors and lights for night or times of low visibility
- Keeping both hands on the handlebars
- Riding a bike that is the appropriate size for the rider
- Planning the route and knowing where they are going
- Taking caution near intersections and in heavier traffic
If You Have Been Injured in a Bike Accident in South Florida
If you have been the victim of a bicycle accident in Florida, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver. Even if you were partially at fault, under our comparative negligence laws, you may still be entitled to partial compensation depending on your percentage of fault.
Call the Boca Raton personal injury lawyers at Ged Lawyers, LLP at (561) 562-4170 or through our online contact page to schedule a free compensation to see if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.