According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Florida is the most dangerous state in which to ride a bicycle. In 2017, 783 cyclists were killed on bicycles. Florida accounted for 125 of those deaths. The most dangerous metro areas, according to the report, were Tampa-St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami. The report noted that factors that contributed to the dangerous nature of Florida roadways are the aging demographic, dense population, a larger number of tourists who are unfamiliar with the roadways, and distracted drivers. So what can we do to stay safe on Florida roadways? There are steps motorists and bicyclists can take.
Safety Tips for Bicyclists
A survey of Florida bicyclists by the AAA found that many cyclists are not doing enough to protect themselves. The survey found that 36% of bicyclists ride without a helmet. It also found that 56% ride with traffic, while 21% ride against traffic. In addition, it found that 74% of those who ride against traffic do so because they like to see approaching vehicles. There are some important steps all bicyclists can take to stay safe, including:
- Ride on the roadway in a bicycle lane if available and shared paths rather than on the sidewalk
- Follow the same rules of the road as other vehicles, including riding in the same direction of traffic and obeying signs and signals
- Signal all turns
- Wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet at all times
- Be visible—wear bright colors and reflective gear. Use a headlight or taillight in the dark.
- Show motorists the same courtesy you expect from them.
Safety Tips for Motorists
Motorists have an obligation to be aware of their surroundings. Because bicyclists are lower profile and slower moving, motorists should be especially careful around them. An accident between a car and a bicycle frequently results in serious injury to the bicyclists. Some steps that motorists can take to keep everyone safe include:
- Stay alert and avoid all distractions while driving
- Yield to bicyclists when turning
- In bad weather give bicyclists extra passing room
- Look for bicyclists before changing lanes by looking at rearview and side mirrors
- Slow down and give at least three feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist
- Reduce your speed when passing bicyclists
- Children on bicycles are often unpredictable—look out for them and expect the unexpected.
Contact a Florida Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in Florida, you need the help of an experienced accident attorney. Gregg Goldfarb has been helping the victims of bicycle accidents for over 20 years. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.