Many municipalities and counties recognize the need to protect cyclists on our roadways, whether they ride for pleasure because it is the mode of transportation they can most easily afford, or they are commuting in a more urban environment promoting environmental impacts. Bicycle lanes are becoming a more important part of roadway planning.
However, bicyclists are more exposed and less visible to drivers; therefore, they are much more likely to suffer very serious injuries in a traffic accident. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted 818 bicycling-related fatalities, and 45,000 injuries from bicycle/automobile crashes in its most recent available stats. Year after year, the majority of these accidents are caused by negligent drivers.
The most common causes of bicycle-related accidents are:
- Riding out into the roadway from a commercial or residential driveway
- Driving into a crosswalk or intersection
- Turning in front of a cyclist
- Turning or merging into bicycle lane
- Speeding to overtake a cyclist
- Failure to yield right of way
- Failure to wear bicycle helmet
- Failure to equip bike with light
Florida laws protect cyclists who are injured by negligent motorists. Under Florida’s Uniform Traffic Control Law, bicycles are treated as vehicles and riders as other “drivers.” In any circumstance where a motorist shares the road with a cyclist, the driver must exercise “due care” to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or cyclist. At-fault drivers may be liable in damages for any injury proximately caused by their negligence.
Please contact us for a free consultation – the great disparity between damage to an automobile and the injury to the cyclist is often exponential and involves grievous injury. It is our passion for helping the injured that results in fair and just outcomes.