5 Steps To Help Avoid A Bicycle Accident
A bicycle can be a very valuable commodity. For young people, it can provide transportation before being old enough to drive, allowing for quicker trips to a friend’s house or getting to and from school. For others, a bicycle can serve as a fun way to exercise and stay fit while avoiding the high impact stress often received from other activities like running.
Unfortunately, bicycles expose riders to serious risks, since many individuals ride them on busy roadways. Since people driving in cars often do not share the roadway as they should, bicycle accidents are prevalent in cities all over the United States. The slightest drift onto the shoulder or into a bike lane by a passing car can quickly lead to a bicycle rider being hit. A driver turning onto or off of a roadway too quickly can overlook a rider, run into them and cause serious injuries.
In 2009 alone, an estimated 51,000 bicyclists were injured in motor vehicle crashes nationally. Of those, 8,000 or 17%, were age 14 and younger. At least 630 people were killed in these bicycle accidents. Although there is no way to make certain drivers pay attention and watch out for bicycle riders, there are steps riders can take to protect themselves. Knowing the bicycle laws in the State of Florida, as well as following safety tips, can help riders avoid becoming a part of these staggering statistics.
5 simple steps you can take to avoid or lessen a potentially fatal bicycle accident include:
- Wear a helmet! Florida Statute §316.2065(3) requires a bicycle rider and passenger less than 16 years of age to wear a helmet that is properly fitted and fastened securely that meets a nationally recognized standard. Even if you are over 16, helmets can still provide you with protection!
- Turn off the iPod! Florida laws prohibit bicycle riders from wearing a headset or other listening devices while riding. Cars certainly cannot hear you, so it is important that you are able to hear them!
- Use bike lanes! If a marked bicycle lane is provided, bicyclists must use the bicycle lane. Sidewalks can be a safe alternative too, but remember to follow all pedestrian regulations if you do so.
- Use a light! When riding after sunset, bicycle riders must use lights, both on the front and rear of their bicycle. Make sure drivers can see you!
- Follow the “Rules of the Road!” A bicyclist riding in the roadway must adhere to all vehicle regulations, including driving on the right side of the roadway and obeying all traffic control devices, such as stop signs and traffic lights.
Be alert and follow the laws and these tips to help reduce your risk of becoming injured in a bicycle accident. For more information and statistics, please visit www.floridabicycle .org.
Also, remember that if you or a loved one is involved in a bicycle crash, you can always seek help from a legal professional knowledgeable about bicycle accidents. The Daytona Beach personal injury attorneys at Rue & Ziffra are ready to take your call and fight to protect your rights. For more information, contact Rue & Ziffra, at 1-888-246-8613
The above entry is NOT LEGAL ADVICE and should not be intended or construed as such. It is intended only as general information. No individual reading it should act upon it. Reading this entry does not create any relationship between Rue & Ziffra and individuals reading it. If you have questions or concerns, please seek professional legal counsel.