Bicyclists are at an Increased Risk of Injury due to a Collision with a Car
Bicycles don’t have the same safety features in place that cars do. Cars have the ability to monitor blind spots, see what’s behind them, and even keep the driver from drifting between lanes.
To ensure safe bicycling, the rider has to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Even worse, when cyclists are hit, they often suffer from worse injuries than those in car accidents simply because of the lack of protection bicycles offer.
Motor vehicle drivers are often much more concerned with looking out for other vehicles that they may miss bicyclists and motorcyclists, especially if they’re driving dangerously.
In 2019, there were 843 bicyclists killed because of crashes with motor vehicles. Florida is the most dangerous place for cyclists, with 5.7 average annual deaths per million residents, a large difference from the second-place state Louisiana, at 3.8.
Top Bike Safety Tips for Florida Bicyclists
When riding a bicycle, you should always keep these safety tips in mind. If you are the parent of a child who wants to start riding their bike in busier areas or even just around the neighborhood, make sure they’re following these tips before allowing them to do so.
1. Wear a Helmet
Even though it’s up to the rider to decide whether they want to wear a helmet under Florida law, you should always wear a helmet. If you’re injured in an accident and aren’t wearing a helmet, insurance companies may try to hold this against you. They may try to say that your injuries were worse because you weren’t wearing a helmet and that, therefore, they could have been prevented.
2. Be Visible to Drivers and Pedestrians on the Road
When riding at night, it’s important to ensure that other drivers see you. You should wear reflective clothing if possible. If you don’t own any reflective materials, wearing bright colors is a good idea. Never wear black or other dark colors while biking at night.
3. Check That The Bike is Properly Adjusted
Riding a bike that isn’t properly adjusted could lead to an accident. If the bike’s wheels aren’t properly filled or the seat isn’t the right height for your body, you could end up hurting yourself.
4. Keep Safety Equipment on You
When riding, you should always keep an emergency bag on you. This should include a tire patch kit and a first aid kit in case of any minor injuries during your ride. Safety should be your utmost priority, so always ensure that you’re ready for potential injury. Equip your children with these safety measures as well, so they’re prepared if anything goes wrong while they’re cycling.
5. Avoid Distractions That Can Increase Your Risk of Injury
You should absolutely not be partaking in any distraction while riding your bicycle. Using a cellphone or listening to music can be particularly dangerous. The use of a cellphone will take your eyes off the road and cause you to crash. Listening to music will make it impossible for you to monitor traffic based on sound. You won’t hear if someone yells to you, warning you of a dangerous situation.
6. Learn Hand Signals for Indicating Turns to Other Vehicles
When you’re urban cycling, you should always use hand signals to indicate to other drivers the direction you’re planning ongoing. This is especially important at left turns. When the light turns green, you should signal with your left arm that you’re going to be turning left. Hold your left arm out perpendicular to the ground and wait until it’s safe to turn left.
7. Maintain Eye Contact with Drivers When Crossing Them
To make sure that drivers see you when you’re crossing the street, maintain eye contact. This will ensure your own safety. If you’re crossing the street at a crosswalk, you should be off of your bike. If you want to ride your bike through an intersection, you should be in the bike lane or traffic, following the traffic signals.
8. Obey Red Lights Like Other Vehicles
When urban cycling, you must follow all traffic laws the same way as other vehicles. This means that you have to wait until a light turns green before going, and you must stop at red lights and stop signs just like other vehicles.
9. Ride With the Flow of Traffic
It’s important to right with traffic and not against it. Some cyclists will ride against traffic because they like to see oncoming cars, but this is much more unsafe. Riding against traffic could result in a head-on collision, which could cause much more damage than an accident that occurs when both the bicyclist and the vehicle are going in the same direction.
You May Be Able to Claim Compensation for Injuries Sustained in a Bike Accident
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident in the state of Florida, you may be entitled to compensation. You can receive compensation for your damages in two categories, economic and non-economic.
Economic damages include:
- Doctor’s visits
- Surgery costs
- Ambulance rides
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
Non-economic damages include:
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of caregiver
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
Contact a Florida Bike Accident Attorney if You’re Injured
If you believe that someone else’s negligence caused your bicycle accident, please contact our talented attorneys here at The Eberst Law Firm. Our attorneys have years of experience working on bicycle accident cases and will be able to help you get the most compensation possible for your claim.
Offices in Gainesville, Stuart, and Daytona Beach, Florida.