May was National Bike Month – Safely Sharing the Road as Bicyclists
Did you know that the month of May is National Bike Month? During this month, bicyclists throughout the nation celebrate the many benefits of cycling. And here in Florida, with year-round beautiful weather and mild temperatures that are pleasing to local residents and out-of-town visitors alike, it is no surprise that so many people like to take advantage of the climate here in the Sunshine State by leaving the car parked and instead hopping on a bicycle. After all, this is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy some fresh air. However, and sadly, Florida is a potentially dangerous place for bicyclists. But by working together, we can all help keep our roads safer for both cyclists and motorists alike.
How Dangerous Are the Roads for Bicyclists?
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are far from uncommon, and they frequently result in serious injury. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published statistics indicating that Florida consistently leads the nation in bicycle fatalities. For example, of the just under 800 bicycle fatalities that occurred nationwide in 2017, 125 (sixteen percent) happened right here in the Sunshine State.
Safely Riding Together
Just like drivers behind the wheel, bicyclists must obey signs and signals and should take precautions on the road to help stay safe. There are various measures you should undertake as a bicyclist when taking your bicycle out for a spin which include:
- Always wear a helmet. According to one recent AAA survey of Florida bicyclists, 36 percent admitted that they do not wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. This is a disturbingly high number, especially because wearing a properly fitting helmet is one of the simplest ways to minimize injuries in the event that an accident occurs. Always wear a helmet when riding.
- Be careful with your electronics. Keep in mind that while listening to music or a podcast while bicycling can help pass the time, it can also be a distraction from your surroundings. If you need to talk or text, stop and use your phone. Be cautious when using phones and other electronics while actively bicycling.
- Dress appropriately. Wear clothes that can help a driver spot the person cycling along beside or in front of him or her. Depending on the weather and time of day, this clothing may include bright clothing as well as reflective gear.
- Follow road rules. The drivers of vehicles in the roadway are best able to see you where they expect you. You should ride in bicycle lanes whenever possible and ride in the direction of traffic, not against it.
We Are Here For the Journey of Your Personal Injury Claim
Unfortunately, taking precautions is not always enough to prevent a serious accident. Collisions between bicycles and cars can lead to devastating results, and understanding what to do next can be confusing and your legal options can often seem contradictory. This is why many riders injured in bicycle accidents rely on the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. As the bicycle accident attorneys at Leifer & Ramirez with offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, we have extensive experience with insurer settlement negotiations and we have successfully advocated for many others in similar circumstances. Begin by reaching out to us today.