Sidewalks: Safe for Bicyclists?

Unfortunately, the roads in the US are often dangerous areas to navigate, whether you are traveling on town or city streets or major highways. Distracted driving is still the major cause of accidents and fatalities, along with crashes being caused by negligent motorists who ignore speed limits, traffic rules, and may also be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This makes traveling in a car hazardous enough, but if you are traveling on foot or riding a motorcycle or bicycle, practice further caution—especially in the state of Florida, leading in bicyclist fatalities.

Exactly where bicyclists should ride can be a controversial subject for some who believe that bicyclists do not belong in regular traffic no matter their level of experience; however, they have just as much right to be there as any other ‘vehicle,’ even if they may sometimes be traveling more slowly than cars and trucks. Depending on your pace as a bicyclist, you may sometimes want to get out of aggressive traffic but feel unsure about the actual rules for riding. While sidewalks may offer a more relaxed area to ride, they are not designed for bicycles. This type of activity is illegal in some states, but not in Florida; however, if the sidewalk is typically congested with pedestrians, riding a bike there could present challenges as well as opening the potential for accidents and major injury.

While protected bike lanes may not be an option in your town or city, they are the better choice when available. Sidewalks may seem like a more protected area, but pedestrians may feel threatened by your presence there, and you may be at greater risk of being hit by a car as you emerge into crosswalks from the sidewalk area with little warning and even less visibility than usual. No matter where you ride, remember to do so defensively, and to wear bright colors, reflective gear—as well as protective gear such as a helmet and knee and elbow pads if possible, too. Bicycle accidents can be very serious for riders of all ages, resulting in fatalities, plus traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and more.

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.

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