Some Important Information On Florida Bicycle Accidents
Like pedestrians, bicyclists usually don’t have a lot to protect themselves with compared to vehicle occupants. A cyclist generally only has a helmet to protect them. Because of this, it is no surprise that when a driver gets involved in an accident with a bicycle rider, the person who ends up either dead or with serious injuries is the bicyclist. Unfortunately, because cycling is an enjoyable activity in Florida, bicycle accidents are pretty common in the sunshine state. Sadly, many bicycle accidents in Florida are caused by motor vehicles.
According to the NHTSA, 846 bicyclists died, and 49,000 sustained injuries in traffic accidents in 2019 alone. Out of the 49,000 injuries sustained, quite a number were critical. Fortunately, if a negligent driver leads to your bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
Florida Ranked First Among States With Highest Number of Cyclists Fatalities
Unfortunately, according to a 2017 article on the Orlando Sentinel’s website, Florida was ranked first among other states with the most cyclist fatalities. Since Florida is a warm and sunny state, there is a major exposure of bicyclists to cars. However, according to the Orlando Sentinel, although Florida has long led in bicycle deaths, the state also leads in safety initiatives. Nonetheless, despite the efforts, a lot still needs to be done.
Common Causes of Florida Bicycle Accidents
It is advisable for cyclists to wear their helmets, take caution when riding their bicycles, and always remain visible by wearing reflective and bright clothing. But, while all these practices can go a long way in helping bicyclists stay safe, more often than not, cyclists are often at the mercy of the motor vehicles surrounding them. Additionally, as much as bicycle accidents can occur due to various reasons, the reality is that many bicycle accidents occur due to negligence.
Below are five common causes of Florida bicycle accidents. Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. If you believe your bicycle accident occurred due to a negligent act not discussed below, consult an attorney.
Distracted driving has always been and remains dangerous. When a driver is texting or talking on their cellphone, it becomes hard for them to notice a much less visible bicyclist. Other distracted driving behaviors that can cause bicycle accidents include;
- eating while driving
- grooming oneself while driving, and
- turning your head to talk to the people in the back seat while driving.
- Nonetheless, it is essential to note that even cyclists are sometimes guilty of distracted cycling.
Speeding endangers every road user from passengers, to motorists, to bicyclists. The NHTSA estimates that speeding killed over 9,000 individuals in 2019 alone. Speeding compromises an individual’s reaction and control. Unfortunately, when an unsuspecting bicyclist gets hit by a speeding motorist, they may end up with catastrophic injuries or even death.
The dangers of driving while intoxicated can never be over-emphasized. Alcohol impairs a motorist’s ability to drive safely in many ways. An impaired motorist generally cannot see clearly or react on time. Unfortunately, that means that an impaired driver will most likely not see a bicyclist on time or have the ability to react quickly to avoid an accident.
Failure to Yield
Florida motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians must all do everything possible to avoid car accidents. This includes yielding, stopping at stop signs, intersections, and street lanes, among other things. Often, bicycle accidents occur when drivers fail to yield to bicyclists with the right of way.
Common Types of Bicycle Crashes
Many types of bicycle crashes happen on Florida roads, but some happen more often than others. Below are some common types of bicycle crashes that occur in the state of Florida.
- Rear-end collisions
- Left-turn accidents
- Right hook collisions
- Pull-out accidents
Dooring is one common danger for Florida bicyclists. Dooring occurs when a motorist opens the door of their vehicle into a cyclist’s travel path. This can result in a bicyclist having to make the impossible decision of crashing into the door or swerving into moving traffic.
Common Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries
Unfortunately, if a bicycle accident doesn’t leave a cyclist dead, the chances are, it will leave them with a severe injury. While every bicycle accident is different, some of the injuries commonly associated with Florida bicycle accidents include;
- Head and brain injuries, including concussion, traumatic brain injuries, brain contusion, skull fracture, and intracranial hemorrhage
- Neck and back injuries, including torn ligaments, whiplash, and fractured vertebrae
- Face injuries
- Skin and soft tissue injuries, including cuts and lacerations, road rash, tendonitis, and puncture wounds
Contact Us if You Were Injured in a Florida Bicycle Accident
The experienced Naples bicycle accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., are ready to gather the evidence you need for your bicycle accident case. We can help you prove that the negligent motorist caused your bicycle accident and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 239-649-8050 to schedule a consultation.