With more people deciding to go green and take a bicycle instead of a car, there are some careful considerations. Statistics show about 120 bicyclists died in Florida in 2007. That means the nation was led that year by fatal biking accidents in Florida, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Statistics are just in for last year. In Florida there were 113 cyclists killed on our roads in 2008. That is more deaths than California had, which amounted to 109.
In a little more than one month, three people died from Florida bicycle accidents in Palm Beach County alone. And last month in North Florida, Chastity Rettinger, 36 was hit by a driver and killed while riding her bike on Old St. Augustine Road in Jacksonville during her lunch break.
Florida is one of six states that have seen an increase in pedestrian and cycling deaths.
Our condolences go out to the families of these people who were trying to do a little good by taking a bicycle.
Many of our roads simply do not accommodate cyclists, forcing automobiles to either try to pass, or just reduce their speed until another lane opens up. Adding more bike lanes is great and needed. More counties, cities and municipalities are establishing bike lanes as well as creating bike trails through woods and parks.
In some instances, cyclists share in some of the blame. Many need to educate themselves to the rules of the road. Riding the wrong way on streets, running a red light, failing to yield the right-of-way, all contribute to cyclist deaths.
The law says they are supposed to keep up with traffic, but the sticking point is speed.
Under law, a bicyclist is supposed to travel at about the same speed as other traffic. If not, they are supposed to ride as close to the curb or road edge. If the road is very narrow and passing is too dangerous, the cyclists is entitled to use the entire lane, but should stay to the right half, to discourage the motorist from passing. And bicyclists are not supposed to be wearing headsets so that music blocks out the audio clues to detect traffic.
An accident will need to be investigated to determine who is at fault and what actually happened. Whether it involves interviewing witnesses, measuring skid marks and the damage, only an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer can, with the help of an accident investigator, collect the information necessary to make your case and establish liability. Call Farah and Farah today for a free evaluation of your pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, or auto accident in Florida.