Florida Bicycle Accidents
Two Florida bicyclists died a half hour apart in two separate accidents one Saturday night. The first was hit by a sedan that raced away without offering aid; the second was an unhelmeted rider who was hit by a truck. That driver stayed and cooperated with investigators. While the runaway driver may be morally corrupt and legally culpable for higher charges, both incidents left grieving families, and highlight the need for greater consciousness among motorists.
Drivers Can and Must do Better
Busy roads pose challenges to drivers, none more serious than addressing the issue of sharing the road with bicyclists. What are the things any driver should be doing to mitigate the dangers?
- Turn with caution: Rolling through stop signs can be disastrous for both cyclists and pedestrians, and drivers simply must check that the path is clear before proceeding through a right turn;
- Make space: Give bicyclists plenty of room when passing them, recognizing that even a “gentle” swipe could result in a fatality;
- Avoid bike lanes: Allow bicyclists to safely maneuver in their designated lanes;
- Yield to bicyclists: Make eye contact at intersections and wave them through, avoiding all potential physical contact;
- Assume the worst: Recognize that at any time a bicyclist could blow a tire, hit an unexpected patch or gravel or a rut, and they could fall or dart out in front of you, so be prepared to move out of the way if they stray into your path;
- Keep an eye out for kids: Children are famous for focusing on their good times instead of safety rules, so watch for them, especially coming out of driveways, in intersections, and in any neighborhood;
- Check before opening doors: Take care not to open your door when a cyclist is approaching, as it could result in a serious accident.
Cyclists: Play it Safe
Not all auto/bicycle accidents, injuries and deaths can be blamed on motorists. To be sure, wearing a helmet is one of the smartest steps any bicyclist can take when mounting their bike, along with making every effort to make oneself visible. That means bright and reflective clothing, and lights at night. Beyond that, they should always obey traffic rules, signal their intent, and stay as far to the right of the road as is safe. Groups of cyclists should travel single-file, and keep a reasonable distance from one another.
Cyclists are required to adhere to the same road rules as motorized vehicles, including stopping at red signals. In the event of an accident in which the motorist is at fault, Florida law allows injured individuals to sue for damages, including for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. But it is essential to gather evidence while it is fresh. If you’ve been injured due to a driver’s negligence or recklessness, contact the Kissimmee personal injury attorneys at the Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A. We’ll fight to get you the best settlement possible.