Bicyclists Have the Same Rights as Everyone Else on the Road

Riding bikes is an activity most of us take to as kids. Except for the checking and filling of tires, bikes require rare, low-level maintenance.

This means transportation is virtually free, with your fuel supply reliant completely on your own physical effort.

The health benefits associated with riding your bike are also far too good to ignore, for all ages. This includes an excellent way to get cardio exercise, burn calories and fat, strengthen bones, reduce stress, and so much more.

Motorists Are Often Irritated by Bicycle Enthusiasts

The sad truth though is that not everyone may be so happy to see you sharing the roadways with them. Riding on paths and in bike lanes can be challenging enough due to foot traffic, other bicyclists, and more.

When you are actually sharing lanes with cars though, many may become exasperated due to a perceived lack of speed. B

icycles are considered to be vehicles, and they have just as much right to be riding on the roadways. Whether you are a bicyclist or a motorist, you must share the road, and everyone must follow the same traffic rules.

Fatalities Rise at Alarming Rates in the US and Florida

As traffic fatalities continue to rise though—and this includes bicyclists (as well as pedestrians) too, extra precautions obviously need to be taken to protect those who are even more vulnerable in traffic due to the lack of protection when struck by a car weighing around 4,000 pounds.

Bicyclists must be properly educated on all necessary hand signals, as well as understand all traffic rules—and this is particularly important for younger cyclists.

It is also critical for those riding their bikes in traffic to be well-practiced at doing so. If you haven’t ridden a bike much—build up your skills elsewhere before heading into traffic, a practice which even the most experienced cyclists can find stressful and intimidating.

Always Ride on the Defense

Safety measures such as added visibility should be taken, as well as making sure you make eye contact with other drivers who may be turning at an intersection. Ride defensively, especially in areas where motorists are turning into crosswalk areas.

They often forget to look for bicyclists and may not have properly reduced speed either. Bicyclists in traffic, in line with following all the same rules, must also go with the flow of traffic.

In protecting yourself and taking a defensive stance, you should always be watching the motorists and oncoming traffic: make sure you are not too close to the side of the road where you can easily be forced out—and avoid getting into the blind spots of those driving cars.

Contact Us for Help!

If you or your child has been injured in a bicycling accident due to the negligence of others, 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.

Bicyclists: Riding Against the Flow of Traffic is Dangerous—and Illegal

Riding a bicycle is one of the best ways possible to enjoy exercise. And although the weather can change on a dime, bicycling allows you to get outside in that famous Florida sunshine and fresh air, traveling at your own pace and experiencing physical benefits as cardiovascular health is improved, muscles and bones are strengthened, and stress levels are reduced significantly.

All of the added health benefits from bicycling can end abruptly, however, if proper safety measures aren’t taken. Along with understanding proper road signals, wearing highly visible clothing, and making sure that your bike is in working order, how you ride your bike makes all the difference.

And although many cyclists may have heard that riding against the flow of traffic is better as it allows you to see what you are dealing with on the road, such a practice is not only extremely unsafe, but it is against the law too.

On a busy road, when riding against the flow, the problem of visibility is decreased even further. Motorists (already challenged to see anything other than cars and trucks) are usually not prepared for bicyclists to be riding the opposite way and their reaction time is much more restricted if they need to swerve out of the way or stop quickly. This is also like riding down a one-way street as all the road signs are directed the other way. And while motorists are the main concern for being hit while you are riding a bike, if you are going the wrong direction you may find others to be confused by your behavior too—like pedestrians. Such riding habits are dangerous for everyone on the road and while riding the wrong direction could get you a ticket, it could also mean that you were the negligent party in the case of an accident.

Bicyclists in traffic are at an enormous disadvantage due to lack of protection in comparison to motorists. Helmets are able to prevent some major head injuries, but bicycle accidents may result in serious contusions, broken bones, neck and spinal injuries, paralysis, and even death.

While everyone should focus on being safe while in traffic, Florida roads merit extra concern as they are known to be extra dangerous for motorists—as well as for bicyclists and pedestrians, with seniors traveling on foot at even greatest risk.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycling 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.

Floridians: Five Ways to Avoid Bicycle Accidents

People travel from all over the world—all times of the year—to bask in the Florida sunshine and enjoy a wide range of fun outdoor activities. Bicycling offers healthy recreation for the whole family, often including even the youngest family members—from tots riding in attached mini-trailers or mounted seats to school-age children who may have shed the training wheels a while ago. And whether you are on vacation or enjoying an area you have lived in for years (gasp, you might even be one of those rare natives!), it is obvious that many Florida roads can be busy, and even slightly treacherous for crossing.

The scene may look innocuous enough as you head out on a quite Sunday morning, but even with its quiet beauty and distinction for idyllic vacationing and living, Florida has reached an all-time high for bicycle crashes and deaths. Experts theorize that more cars on the roads today are the reason for so many accidents and deaths, to include that of pedestrians also. The bottom line is that you and your loved ones are vulnerable in traffic, riding lightweight bikes amidst countless vehicles that on average weigh over 4,000 pounds.

Here are five ways to avoid injury in a cycling accident:

  1. Wear a helmet! While this is especially important for young children who are prone to even worse repercussions from a concussion or traumatic brain injury, cyclists of all ages should protect themselves from the potential of catastrophic head injuries. Before purchasing a helmet, make sure it is US Department of Transportation approved.
  2. Maintain your equipment properly. Having a blowout with a tire bicycle or chain can be dangerous if you are traveling in traffic. Also, make sure you have working tools including a light, bell, or horn.
  3. No matter what time of day you are riding your bike, always wear brightly colored clothing. And although you may be concerned about what type of fashion statement you are making, safety comes first, and neon vests can be extremely effective if you are sharing the road with cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Motorists are used to looking out for cars and trucks—but may have trouble focusing on motorcycles, bikes, and pedestrians. Do everything possible to be visible.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings all the time. This is especially important if you are traveling near or in traffic and approaching areas like intersections. Making eye contact before turning or crossing is helpful. Also, be alert to anything or anyone in your path, whether you are on the road or traveling in a designated side area.
  5. Know the traffic rules and follow them—especially when crossing traffic, making turns, and more. Essentially, you should use the same traffic rules that you do when driving—along with employing the proper hand signals.

If you or your child has been injured in a bicycling accident due to the negligence of others, 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.