Motorists & Bicyclists Need To Share The Road To Avoid Deadly Bicycle Accidents In Florida
Motorists and bicyclists in South Florida are faced with a deadly combination – heavy traffic and an active bicycle community. There’s no wonder why there are so many bicycle accidents in South Florida.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2008, Florida led the nation with the most bicycle accident fatalities, 125 deaths. While that number sounds high, it has decreased since 1991, when Broward County alone saw 1,000 bicycle accidents with 21 fatalities. Now the county endures approximately 500 bicycle crashes per year resulting in an average of 8 to 11 fatalities.
While the statistics have decreased, bicycle fatalities coupled with pedestrian fatalities accounted for 20% of traffic deaths in 2009 in Palm Beach, Martin, Indian River, St. Lucie and Broward counties, according to the Sun Sentinel.
How Can Bicycle Fatalities in South Florida Be Decreased?
Both motorists and bicyclists need to do a better job of showing respect for one another on the road. Both types of vehicles are allowed to be on the road, and both should be following all the traffic laws including stopping at stop signs, red lights, and yielding to one another.
There are other helpful tips that bicyclists can do in order to help prevent Florida bicycle accidents and injuries, including:
- Don’t ride the wrong way on a street. Instead, a bicyclist should ride with the flow of traffic.
- Ride in a designated bicycle lane. If there is no marked lane, then ride closest to the right hand side of the street.
- Obey all traffic signs and laws.
- Wear bright colored clothing, a helmet, and reflective clothing at night.
- Use reflectors and lights when riding before dawn or after dusk.
- Use hand signals when turning, and ride in a consistent and predictable manner.
Most bicycle accidents occur when a driver is making a right turn and not looking out for a bicyclist. Drivers need to do a better job of looking over their shoulders before turning right and make sure to keep a three-foot clearance when driving next to a bicyclist.
If motorists and bicyclists can do a better job of obeying traffic laws and respecting each other’s rights on the road, bicycle accidents in South Florida may decrease.
If you or someone else has been seriously injured or killed in a Florida bicycle accident, you need to seek the advice of an experienced accident attorney at the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 954-807-1334.