One thing most of us agree on is that we would rather spend more time outdoors relaxing in the fresh air and getting much-needed exercise. Bicycling in the state of Florida fills all those requirements, affording an economical mode of travel too, whether you are traveling alone or with a group of friends or your family. Millions of Americans enjoy this healthy mode of transportation, boosting good health in so many ways as it lifts the spirits overall, burns enormous amounts of calories, promotes strong heart and lung health, and so much more. Unfortunately, amidst all that relaxing lurks numerous safety issues.
Bicycling in Florida can be especially dangerous; in fact, it has been ranked with the highest fatality rate for bicyclists in the nation. Much of the hazards emanate from obvious factors like cars and distracted drivers. With the emergence of the smartphone, texting and driving has superseded all the other classic dangers like drunk driving and speeding—although those are still major issues causing far too many accidents and deaths still. Bicyclists must be extremely defensive while on the road, and especially while riding in traffic. Here are a few tips for keeping yourself and your family safe:
- Careless drivers – Smartphone usage, drugs and alcohol, and reckless driving are to blame for many accidents. Car doors being opened in traffic areas can cause serious accidents for bicyclists too.
- Lack of visibility – This can be a major problem for bicyclists. If motorists can’t see you, there is much greater potential for an accident to occur. Make sure to wear bright coloring and use reflectors and neon strips wherever possible.
- Side-swiping and rear-ending – Motorists may be driving too closely, squeezing bicyclists out of traffic, or hitting them from the side or the back, with the potential to cause major injury or death.
- Intersections – This is one of the most dangerous areas for anyone driving, but especially motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Make sure that motorists see you if you are turning and attempt to make eye contact with them if possible.
- Bike path obstacles – Bike paths are usually not a place to travel at high speeds as there may be branches, rocks, litter, or other items in the way, along with other people biking, hiking, walking dogs, strolling children, and more.
- Ignoring traffic rules – Both motorists and bicyclists can cause great injury to themselves and others when traffic rules are ignored—whether that is stop signs, traffic lights, four-way stops, or more.
- Environmental issues – Even greater caution must be practiced if there is road construction or bad weather. If you can avoid being out in rain, snow, or ice, and have alternate transportation, that may be your best option—depending on how hardcore you are about your bicycling!
If you or a loved one have been affected by a bicycle accident injury caused by the negligence of others contact Heintz & Becker today. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.
All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.