Cycling is a common and enjoyed form of exercise for many Americans, and an everyday mode of transportation chosen by many others. However, cycling can also be dangerous, especially if you are cycling in highway traffic. 90% of bicycle accident deaths are caused by motor vehicles, and even in these types of accidents that don’t result in death, the cyclist is often gravely injured.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident that was not your fault, then you could be entitled to compensation. The lawyers at The Law Place have over 75 years of combined experience in dealing with the Florida legal system and will be able to give you the best chance at receiving the financial compensation that you deserve. Call us now for a free consultation on 941-444-4444.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents?
In a collision between a cyclist and faster, heavier, larger vehicle, there is usually only ever one winner.
Bicycle accidents could occur with a vehicle on the road because of a whole host of reasons. The most common causes of bicycle accidents involving other vehicles, but not the only ones, are listed below:
- A car, or similar vehicle, cuts off a bike either when entering the roadway or by making a dangerous right turn.
- A car rear-ends a bicycle trying to maneuver around a parked car in the bike lane.
- The driver of a parked car, truck, van, or other motor vehicle opens the door into the path of a cyclist.
- The cyclist may be cycling on the wrong side of the road (against the oncoming traffic).
- A cyclist or a driver runs a red traffic light or fails to yield at stop signs.
- The cyclist or driver makes an unexpected and dangerous move.
However, accidents involving a vehicle only make up for around 30% of all bicycle injuries, although those are often more severe in injuries and damage sustained. The majority of bicycle accidents do not involve a car or other type of motor vehicle, but may still cause substantial injuries and can still result in successful lawsuits. Other common causes of bicycle accidents can be:
- A cyclist collides with an object, such as debris in the road.
- A collides with a pedestrian or another bike.
- A cyclist falls off the bicycle due to an animal attack.
- The bicycle itself is damaged, faulty, or improperly repaired.
- A cyclist falls off due to poorly maintained roads.
Common Bicycle Injuries
Cycling accidents can cause many different types of injuries, ranging from mild to, unfortunately, fatal. The most common injuries caused by bicycle injuries are as follows:
- Road rash – Falls and skids on the road can cause you superficial flesh injuries, commonly known as road rash.
- Cuts, bruises, and abrasions – More serious falls can cause soft tissue damage, which may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to heal, dependent on the severity of the injury. These injuries are commonly found on the back and shoulders.
- Broken bones and fractures – Some accidents may be serious enough that it can cause fractures or broken bones, whether this is from the fall itself or the impact between the cyclist and the vehicle. Arms, legs, ribs, collarbone, pelvis, and skull fractures have all been observed in victims of accidents.
- Traumatic head and brain injuries – If a cyclist hits their head hard during the accident, then they could suffer from a head injury, which could range from mild concussions to potentially traumatic brain injury.
- Dental injuries – If a cyclist hits their face, then they could chip or break a tooth, potentially costing hundreds in dental fees.
- Internal organ damage and bleeding – Particularly traumatic accidents can cause internal organ damage and bleeding
- Paralysis – If the accident causes a severe head or spinal injury, then it could cause paralysis.
- Wrongful death – A particularly serious accident can lead to the wrongful death of the cyclist.
Bike accidents can also leave the victim with emotional distress and mental suffering, as well as damage to their bike.
The severity of a bike accident, especially one that involves a motor vehicle, can cause astounding losses. Our attorneys can determine the maximum amount of damages you deserve and fight on your behalf.
If you or a loved one have sustained any of the above injuries, or any others, in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault then you may deserve compensation. Call The Law Place today for a free case evaluation.
Where Do Most Bike Accidents Occur?
In Florida, the majority of bicycle accidents occur in Miami-dade county, which is understandable as it’s the most heavily populated.
36% of the accidents occurred at intersections, and most of those were at the four-way stops. The rest happened at T-intersections.
Fatal accidents occurred primarily on state roads, county roads, local streets, and federal roads because they are much busier.
The majority of bicycle accidents involving cars happened because someone failed to yield the right of way.
Most bicycle accidents also happen in shared lanes and sidewalks. To lower the risk of being involved in a bike accident, you should cycle in a bike lane or paved shoulder if possible.
Why Do Bicycles Increase Driving Risk?
Bicycles can increase driving risk as they are smaller and so less noticeable to vehicles. They are also much slower than cars and trucks, and so vehicles must pass them, which has the potential for danger. Poor weather also makes cycling dangerous, as it does with driving any type of vehicle, as slippery roads, impaired vision, and strong gusts of wind could cause a cyclist to fall or cycle into the lane and into traffic. Cyclists can also be unpredictable, and if one turns when it’s not expected to, it may cause a crash, if a driver had to brake rapidly to miss hitting it and then gets rear-ended, for example.
This is the same with everything on the road, as cyclists and drivers of motor vehicles may not follow the rules of the road how you expect them to. Below are some simple tips to help make cycling safer:
- Cycle with the traffic – It is important to cycle along with traffic rather than against traffic so that cars can pass you much more easily.
- Bright and reflective colors – Drivers can often cause bicycle accidents when they don’t see the cyclists when turning, opening their door if parked, merging lanes, and more. To minimize the risk of this, you should wear bright and reflective colored clothing and light up your bike on the back and front so that drivers can see you more easily.
- Eye contact – You should try to make eye contact with drivers if necessary, such as when turning, to make sure they see you.
- Hand signals – By using hand signals, you will be alerting drivers to where you are going so that they expect your maneuvers. You should also use a bell or call out to warn pedestrians when you are approaching them.
- Wear a helmet – A helmet could save you from significant brain trauma, as well as potential death.
- Ride close to the center – In narrow roads, if you cycle to close to the curb, then you could be hit by opening car doors.
- Stay away from busy streets – If you know a road is going to be particularly busy, then consider taking a route that is less so. Also, remember to slow down and be very cautious at intersections.
All cyclists should remember that they are expected to follow the same rules of the road that all motor vehicles do, and so it is crucial that they know what the rules are.
How Many People Die Each Year on Bikes?
Florida has always had a high rate of bicycle accident deaths compared to the rest of the United States. In a survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it was found that in 2017, 125 people died in bicycle accidents in Florida, which is 16% of the national total (783). It is the law in Florida to wear a helmet at all times whilst cycling, regardless of age. Helmets can save lives, and so it is important to follow the law.
Call The Law Place
If you have been involved in any type of bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, then you may be entitled to financial compensation and should call The Law Place today for a free consultation on 941-444-4444.
Don’t take on the Florida legal system alone; get help from experienced lawyers who are dedicated to winning you the justice that you deserve.