Every year, our office gets hundreds of calls about bicycle accidents. While do not take every case, it does make us very aware of the dangers when bicyclists share the roadway with cars. It makes us very concerned about bicycle safety.
Bicycle safety is a popular topic during summer months because that's when people typically take advantage of the great weather and enthusiastically ride their bikes. In Florida, bicycle safety is a year-round concern because the weather is stays warm for longer, which gives people an extended opportunity to ride their bikes. Therefore, it is no coincidence that Florida ranks very high on the national list of bicycling fatalities.
According to the Center of Disease Control's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Florida has the highest bicycling mortality rate in the U.S. For approximately every 100,000 cyclists, there are 57 deaths. Here are a few tips to keep in mind that will help keep you safe.
Brush Up on Bicycle Laws
Throughout Florida, many municipalities have very specific laws pertaining to bicyclists. In some communities, wearing a helmet is a legal requirement, particularly for children aged 16 and under. The Florida Bicycle Association maintains a section on its website that keeps a rundown on specific bicycling laws that apply to particularly communities. Part of staying safe is to follow the law. So, brush up on local legal requirements.
Heed Traffic Lights and Signs
Although you may be riding a bicycle, it is vital to pay attention to traffic lights and signs as if you were driving a car. It's all about optimizing safety potential, being aware of how and when vehicles are operating around you in order to avoid hazardous situations. Considering that most bicycling-related injuries and fatalities are preventable, erring on the side of caution is advantageous. Thinking like a car driver can give you the defensive skills you need to safely cycle.
Equip Reflective Lights, Wear Reflective Gear
Florida might be nicknamed the Sunshine State, but when the sun sets. bicycling becomes exponentially more dangerous. From dusk until dawn it is more difficult for motorists to spot a bicycle on the road. Equipping head and rear lamps gives vehicle drivers a bright heads-up that you're sharing the asphalt, deterring possible collisions. Wearing reflective clothes is another effective way to give motorists an opportunity to see you coming or going.
Keep Contact Information Handy
Should you be involved in a bicycling accident, or know someone that is, having contact information readily available can be very helpful. Having names and numbers of friends, family, and medical professionals on hand can help you spend less time hunting for contacts in case of an emergency.
Bagen and Associates have the necessary experience and knowledge about personal injury laws to help you. If you or someone you know was recently involved in a bicycle accident, you can contact us anytime—24 hours a day, 7 days a week—and we will give you a free consultation.