To begin with, Florida pretty much has good cycling weather year-round. However, the temperatures have risen. So, cyclists from all over North America are descending on Florida streets. Unfortunately, that means a rise in bike-car and bike-truck accidents. Typically, the cyclists are on the losing end.
Secondly, cyclists share the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists on the road. But, negligent motorists or careless drivers can cause serious injury to a cyclist. Granted, bicyclists can receive damages for medical bills, lost income and, property damage. As well as, for pain and suffering. Yet, if you are partially responsible the amount received in damages gets reduced.
Causes of Bike-Car Accidents
Notably, in 2019 the FLHSMV reported 6,628 bike-car accidents. In addition, 142 of these cycling crashes resulted in a fatality. Considering, how susceptible cyclists are to injury it is important to know some of the main causes of bike-car accidents. So, here are some dangers cyclists face.
- Failure to yield when entering the road – When entering a roadway, the law requires all motorists to yield to on-coming traffic. In fact, that includes yielding to bicyclists.
- Passing without safe distance – All motorists must leave 3 feet around a cyclist when passing. It’s the law.
- Right turn crashes – These collisions occur when a motorist fails to use their turn signal, or they make a sudden turn crossing the cyclists’ path.
- Road Hazards – Things like road debris, potholes, and cracks in the pavement pose a danger to bicyclists. Because they can cause a cyclist to lose control of the bike.
Avoid Injuries Cycling Safety
In all honesty, cyclists often suffer catastrophic injuries when involved in a collision with a car or truck. Therefore, to avoid a crash or injury cyclists can take certain precautions. So, here are some safety tips for cyclists to follow:
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet and securely fasten the strap.
- Stay visible. Wear bright colors when riding or wear something that reflects light (reflective shoes, reflective tape, etc.)
- Pay attention. Do not wear headphones so that you can hear the traffic and pedestrians around you. Never text and ride.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic and stay as far to the right as possible. Use bike lanes whenever you can.
- Obey all traffic laws, including signs, signals, and lane markings, when riding on the roadway. If crossing a roadway upon or along a crosswalk, abide by pedestrian crossing guidelines.
- If riding between the hours of sunset and sunrise, Florida Law requires the use of a headlight lamp which exhibits a white light visible for 500 feet. Also, it requires the rear of the bike equipped with a taillight lamp and reflector visible for 600 feet.
Motorists Safety Reminders
Although, bicycle safety is important for both the cyclist and motorist. FLHSMV (Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles) states motorists must pay special attention when driving around cyclists. So, here are some safety tips for motorists to follow:
- Drivers MUST give bicyclists a minimum of three feet of clearance when driving alongside or passing them. It’s the law.
- When turning, yield to any bicyclist in the bike lane and make your turn behind the cyclist.
- Avoid using high beam headlights when you see a bicyclist approaching.
- Before opening a car door, check for bicyclists who may be approaching from behind.
Liability in A Bike-Car Accident
Regarding, injuries from a bike-car or bike-truck accident, you can sue the responsible party for damages. Not to mention, as a victim Florida states you have 4 years from the date of the accident to file the claim. More importantly, you can recover damages from the at-fault party if you can prove liability.
At any rate, you as a cyclist have the same legal rights and duties as motorists in Florida. Yet, many drivers do not use care when sharing the road. For example, a distracted driver may not see you cycling and could collide with you.
Then, you can assert your personal injury claim under negligence. Due to the fact, they failed to use reasonable care. Thus, holding the at-fault party liable for injuries caused by the accident.
Damages and Compensation in a Cycling Accident
Furthermore, victims of a bike accident can recover damages. As a matter of fact, you can receive compensation for current medical bills and future medical bills. As well as, for loss of income, and property damage. Also, family members of a person that dies from the accident can recover damages through a wrongful death claim.
So, if you are in a bike-car or bike-truck accident, you could receive compensation. Hence, our Tampa auto accident lawyers will review your case. Then, we will work to protect your legal rights so you can get the outcome you deserve.
CONTACT A TAMPA BIKE-AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a bike-car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.329.3491.