Florida is famous for so much goodness: white, sandy beaches and the Gulf. Sophisticated cities nestled near the Atlantic. Islands and great fishing. Disney World!
There is much to enjoy while traveling up and down this long stretch of area so popular with vacationers and retirees. The Sunshine State also boasts weather and terrain that is all too tempting for bicyclists. Unfortunately, looks can be deceptive though as while Florida may be enticing, it has also gained a reputation for being dangerous for cyclists overall.
More than one report has confirmed that the state of Florida has an inordinate amount of bike crashes; and in fact, a recent news article reported that the Florida Department of Transportation is now closely examining why their state is responsible for as much as 20 percent of cyclist deaths (as in 2014). New data from Florida International University shows that motorists were found negligent in 46 percent of crashes, while those riding bicyclists were at fault in 30 percent of the incidents.
As a bicyclist in Florida, you may feel completely at ease on the road. The problem, however, is usually other motorists who are distracted, impaired, speeding, or driving carelessly due to other issues. Here are some tips to stay safe:
- Be especially aware at intersections. More bicycle crashes tend to happen at intersections and especially during left and right turns.
- Try to avoid congested traffic areas when possible. Although you may be an extremely experienced cyclist, and the road is supposed to be shared, motorists may not always have the best attitude (or manners) regarding your presence on a busy road.
- Use bike paths whenever possible.
- Learn and employ hand signals for use while riding in traffic. Always ride (on the right side) with the flow of traffic, not against it.
- Watch for parked cars. Not only can running into one cause significant injury to you, your bike, and even the car—but you can also be seriously hurt if someone flings open a door unpredictably just as you are passing by.
- Make sure your bike has a working horn, as well as lights for traveling at dusk or night.
- Make your presence known with brightly colored (neon is always a good choice!) clothing.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!
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.