Florida residents don’t have to deal with much in the way of harsh winters. However, it does get just cold enough that many of us put our bicycles away while waiting out Fall and Winter’s chillier months. However, as the calendar turns to March, and Floridians begin to thaw out a bit, bicycle rides become more and more enticing. Whether they are used as a necessary means of transportation, or just for a leisurely ride with the family on a Sunday, bicycles become far more common on our roadways in the Spring and Summer months in Florida.
In 2012, there were 726 deaths in the United States involving crashes between bicycles and motor vehicles. That averages out to just shy of two people per day in the course of the year in the United States that pass away as a result of a crash between a bicycle and a motor vehicle. While the numbers represent just over two percent of the total number of people killed and injured in traffic crashes in 2012, “bicycle trips account for only one percent of all trips in the United States.” Bicyclists seem to be over-represented in the crash data. Obviously with 726 deaths per year, there are risks associated with riding a bicycle.
FLORIDA IS THE MOST DEADLY STATE FOR BICYCLE ACCIDENT FATALITIES
Bicycle riding is a very popular hobby in Florida. Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Florida has the highest bicycle fatality rate (6.56 per million residents), according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Florida law defines a bicycle as a vehicle and bicyclist as a driver. This means that cyclists are granted the same rights and responsibilities while traveling on Florida roadways as those behind the wheels of motor vehicles. They have the right to proceed through green-lights the same as others, just as they are expected to signal turns to other drivers, stopping for stop signs and red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, using lights at night, yielding the right-of-way when entering a roadway and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks.
When most people think about car accidents, they instantly think of a crash between two motor vehicles. However, the issues faced when a crash occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicycle are very similar. The causes can often be the same in both types of cases. Perhaps the cyclist was under the influence of alcohol, or the driver of the motor vehicle was texting (yes, you can be arrested for Driving Under the Influence in Florida while on a bicycle). And in the cases where a cyclist sustains injuries due to the negligence of a driver of a motor vehicle, the cyclist is entitled to economic and non-economic damages which were caused by the crash.
However, one is not entitled to damages merely by being on a bicycle that is involved in a crash with a motor vehicle. A liability analysis of both parties’ assignable levels of fault must be performed. Therefore, if you or someone you know has been injured in a crash between a bicycle and a motor vehicle, you should seek medical and legal help as soon as possible.
CONTACT EXPEREIENCED FLORIDA INJURY ATTORNEYS DOLMAN LAW GROUP
The Dolman Law Group has an experienced team of investigators who can help determine where negligence has occurred and will investigate every possible cause of a bicyclist’s injuries. Their experienced and skilled attorneys represent personal injury victims only and never represent insurance companies. They know how to negotiate a settlement and are not afraid to take a case to trial if a fair resolution cannot be achieved. Call the Dolman Law Group today to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation at 727-451-6900.
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765