Florida is one of the deadliest states to ride a bicycle. According to a study by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, Florida had the nation’s highest proportion of bicycle fatalities in 2015 at 7.4%. The bulk of these fatalities are the result of accidents between cars and bicycles. Both drivers and cyclists must do their part to stay safe on the road and avoid distraction. Common situations where bicycles and other vehicles collide include:
Dooring is a collision where a bicyclist runs into a vehicle door, or a vehicle door is opened into a cyclist. Drivers have a responsibility to check the surrounding area for hazardous situations, such as an oncoming cyclist or pedestrian, before opening the vehicle door. Drivers should also not leave their vehicle doors open for longer than is necessary. If a driver acts negligently and carelessly when opening the door, a cyclist may be able to file a negligence claim. Conduct by the cyclist, for instance not paying attention, may be taken into account when determining the degree of responsibility of each party.
Vehicle drivers must exercise due care in order to avoid a collision with a bicycle. However, cyclists are also expected to follow the rules. It is a frequent occurrence that a driver will make a left turn in front of a cyclist ignoring who has the right of way. If, at an intersection, a cyclist fails to yield the right of way, he or she may also be at fault.
Right Turns in Front of Cyclists
There some incidents where a bicycle is driving straight, and an approaching vehicle makes a right turn in front of them. This can cause serious injury and even death. Drivers of a vehicle have the responsibility to check the area around them before making a right turn. Cyclists also have a responsibility to be aware of any vehicles that may be approaching with their turn signals on.
Florida has miles of bike lanes to promote safe bike riding throughout the state. Florida law says that bicyclists must ride in available bike lanes unless they are turning or avoiding an unsafe condition. Cyclists are supposed to be safe in a bike lane, but drivers sometimes fail to watch for cyclists in their blind spots and drift or turn into a bike lane causing injury.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been seriously injured in a bike vs. car accident, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.