Bicycling Deaths Remain High in Florida, But Who is at Fault?

In 2008, Florida reported the most bicycle deaths in the nation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 125 deaths in bicycle accidents. Currently, Broward County reports on average 500 bicycle crashes each year resulting in eight to 11 fatalities. But why are these numbers so high, and who is at fault?

The bicycle and pedestrian coordinator with the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization explained that bicyclists are commonly hit when drivers are taking a right-hand turn at intersections. Drivers forget to check and see if a bicyclist is riding in the bike lane next to the vehicle, and they turn right into the biker. These types of bicycle accidents happen frequently, and even though the car may not be travelling very fast, a bicyclist can suffer serious injuries.

Although many accidents are caused by drivers not paying attention, bicyclists also need to make smart decisions so that they don’t endanger their own lives. Bicyclists should wear helmets and always be aware of their surroundings. Cyclists should also adhere to traffic laws. A bicyclist was killed in an accident on Jan. 5 while he was crossing the street, but the he did not use a proper crosswalk.

The president of the board of directors of the South Florida Bike Coalition said, “Motorists need to respect bicyclists’ right to be on the road and cyclists need to treat that privilege with respect.” In order to prevent serious and fatal bicycle accidents, Broward County has attempted to improve bike lanes, more bike racks have been added to busses and online trip planners have been made accessible to cyclists.

Miami personal injury attorneys have seen first-hand the seriousness of a pedestrian or bicycle accident. Pedestrians and bicyclists lack protection from cars and trucks, and if struck by a vehicle, the outcome could be fatal. Other major injuries could be a result from an accident, and victims are left with the suffering and medical expenses. Although drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists all need to respect traffic laws, many accident s are caused by negligence on the part of distracted drivers. Personal injury attorneys help injured victims receive the compensation they deserve so that they can move on with their lives after a serious accident.

Source:Sun-Sentinel: “Bicycling deaths remind residents of road respect,” Christina Lilly, 19 Jan. 2011