The Sunshine State is home to some of the most gorgeous weather, scenic bike trails, and great destinations, which is why it is the perfect place for bicyclists to ride. It is not surprising that the number of cyclists in Florida is skyrocketing each year; however, this may be a cause of increasing bicycle accident fatalities in Florida, making the state the highest for bicycle accident deaths in the USA.
Since 1975, deaths across Florida bicyclists ages 20 and older have tripled. If you or someone you love is injured or dies in a bicycle accident, contact Frank P. Marsalisi at Marsalisi Law for outstanding legal services. At Marsalisi Law, Frank is devoted to ensuring your rights are protected, and your pain and suffering is fairly compensated.
Florida’s Cyclists Laws
According to Florida Statute 316.2065, bicyclists must follow the same traffic laws as drivers of other vehicles on the road because bicycles are vehicles and bicycle operators are the drivers. Some of these rules include:
- Stopping at stop signs
- Following traffic lights
- Turning on lights at night
- Yielding the right-of-way
Other rules specific to bicyclists include:
- Use the bike lane if going a slower speed then normal traffic
- If no lane is available, ride as far right as possible
- Use hand signals to let others know your next move
- Following age requirements for helmet use
Obeying all bicycle laws can help reduce your chances of being in a bicycle accident. Unfortunately, you cannot control how other people operate their vehicles. Therefore, the most important thing you can do is pay attention to all your surroundings, riding defensively, and always equip yourself with necessary protective gear.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Florida
Although there has been a push for stronger bicycle laws and detailed safety plans, accidents continue to rise. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents between both adults and children in Florida include:
- Driver failed to see cyclists
- Cyclists failed to follow traffic signs
- Vehicle occupants opening car door into an oncoming cyclist
- Driver distraction with electronics
- Driving under the influence
- Both driver and cyclists fail to yield
All these scenarios may lead to a severe collision causing bicyclists to be thrown off their bikes onto hard surfaces, or if they attempt to get out of the way at the last second, they could crash into a fixed object and fall off their bike. The injuries that may occur after a bicycle crash include:
- Face, eye, and dental injuries
- Broken bones and dislocations
- Punctured lungs
- Head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Abdominal injuries
Excessive trauma to any of these areas of the body can cause debilitating problems that can either severely impair your ability to function properly, or potentially, result in death. If you are the victim of a bicycle accident, make sure you seek medical attention immediately and then contact an attorney to discuss your case.
Most Dangerous Counties for Cyclists in Florida
Bicycle accidents in Florida are relatively common due to the little design accommodation on the roads for bicycles, especially in cities like St. Petersburg. In Pinellas County alone, there were over 513 bike crashes and six fatalities in 2019, resulting in the county having the highest cyclist death rate in all of the Tampa Bay metro area. Other counties near Pinellas County with high accidents rates and fatalities include:
- Hillsborough county
- Pasco county
- Polk county
- Sarasota county
- Manatee county
This does not include areas around South Florida and Central Florida, which are known to be some of the most dangerous places to ride a bike. With unsafe biking conditions and reckless tourists and residential drivers, you can never be too sure that you will be safe while bicycling.
Contact a Trusted Bicycle Accident Lawyer to Help You Recover
Not only are Florida laws and regulations confusing, but determining liability is complicated in bicycle accidents. If you were in a bicycle accident or if your loved one died in one, do not be deceived by insurance companies lowball offers and miss out on the opportunity to recover maximum compensation for the pain you or your family has endured. Contact a trusted bicycle accident lawyer at Marsalisi Law. We will educate you on the full scope of your legal rights.
Frank P. Marsalisi at Marsalisi Law can help protect you from the pitfalls of the legal system by employing all his resources, skills, and knowledge to get you fairly compensated for your injuries. With many years of experience litigating bicycle accident injury cases, you can be sure that Frank will support you through these challenging times. When you are ready to discover all that you are eligible to recover, schedule a free consultation by completing a contact form or calling (727) 800-5052.