Riding a bicycle should be an ideal means of navigating Florida’s communities and roads. Unlike driving, bicycling is good for your health and the environment.
However, bicyclists must be aware of how vulnerable they are on the road. Unlike the drivers and passengers of enclosed vehicles, who are protected by the steel frames of those vehicles, bicyclists are very exposed. They also don’t have additional protection in the form of seatbelts, airbags, and other such safety features.
Bicyclists must exercise caution to minimize their chances of being harmed in accidents. This is particularly true in Florida. Unfortunately, data indicates that Florida is the deadliest state for bicyclists.
It’s unclear why this is. Numerous factors certainly contribute to Florida’s high rate of fatal bicycle accidents. Factors often cited by experts reviewing these trends include the following:
Lack of Proper Infrastructure
Infrastructure plays a significant role in the safety of bicyclists. When those who opt to ride bikes instead of driving have more access to bike lanes, accident rates tend to drop.
It’s worth noting that Florida has made several attempts to improve infrastructure in a way that will keep bicyclists safer since 1984. As of yet, these efforts haven’t yielded significant results.
Failure to Obey the Law
Florida law ensures that bicyclists have the same rights as motorists on the state’s roads. However, several cyclists who’ve spoken to the press about Florida’s high fatal bicycle accident rate indicate that many drivers don’t wish to share the road with bicyclists. They may thus not take the necessary steps to prioritize bicyclist safety.
That said, it’s also important to understand that bicyclists may have the same rights as motorists, but that means they have the same responsibilities as well. It’s undeniable that some bicycle accidents occur because cyclists opt not to obey the rules of the road.
Florida’s roads belong to everyone who chooses to use them legally. This includes motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. All must do their part to keep the streets safe for everyone.
To some extent, Florida’s topography may play a role in the severity of bicycle accidents in our state.
Florida is relatively flat. Thus, it’s easy for both motorists and cyclists to travel at relatively high speeds on many of Florida’s roads.
Speed is a significant factor influencing how severe any type of roadway accident may be. A collision between a bicycle and a car might only result in fairly minor injuries to those involved if both vehicles are traveling at low rates of speed. If one or both vehicles are traveling very quickly when an accident occurs, a bicyclist may be more likely to lose their lives than they would otherwise be.
Contact a Miami Bicycle Accident Attorney
None of this is meant to discourage you from choosing to ride a bicycle in Florida. You must simply be cautious to protect yourself from harm.
If you ever are hurt in a bicycle accident because another party is negligent, you can seek compensation accordingly by filing a claim with the negligent party’s insurance. Learn more about your options by reviewing your case with a Miami bicycle accident lawyer at Colson Hicks Eidson. Call us today at 305-476-7400 to get started.