Under Florida Statutes § 316.2065, bicycles must travel with the flow of traffic (with traffic). This means that if the lane of travel that the bicycle occupies is meant for vehicles to go south, the bicyclist needs to be traveling southbound also.
Why Should a Bicycle Travel With Traffic?
Bicyclists need to travel with traffic because when vehicles come to an intersection to turn right or left or to proceed across traffic, they are looking left first for oncoming traffic and then they look right to make sure they are clear. Remember the saying: “Look left, right, left, go” from driving school? Well, if a bicyclist is riding his or her bicycle against traffic, the car turning will not see them as the driver’s attention is looking in the opposite direction. In other words, the driver is looking left and the cyclist was coming from his right.
According to Monique Welch with Tampa Bay Times (a/k/a Dr. Delay), one person emailed her with a story about how she almost struck a cyclist. She wrote that she was leaving a gas station at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Street North and 22nd Avenue North. As she turned south, she did not see the bicyclist heading towards her vehicle against the flow of traffic and nearly collided with the bike. She only stopped because the bike rider yelled at her and slammed on the hood. She explained she was shocked by nearly hitting the bicyclist.
Who Is Most Likely to Get Hurt in a Bicycle Accident?
Statistically, 18% of the bicyclists injured in a motor vehicle crash were under the age of 14 years. That’s nearly 1 in 5 bicycle accidents involve a child under the age of 14.
How Many Bicyclists Are Killed in Traffic Crashes?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or more commonly known as NHTSA, there were 857 bicyclists killed in traffic accidents in the United States in 2018. Who usually gets hurt? The bicyclist is almost always the one that is injured.
How Do You Decrease the Risk of a Bicycle Crash?
There are two main types of bicycle accidents. The fall (most common and nobody else’s fault but the cyclist – usually) and the most serious, one with an automobile. Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of a bicycle crash:
- Don’t ride after 6 PM. Regardless of the season or region, the highest number of bicycle deaths occur between 6 PM and 9 PM.
- Go country! In 2017, Bicyclists deaths occur more often in urban areas (75%) compared to rural areas (25%).
- Men are 8 times more likely than women to die in a bicycle accident (per 2017 statistics).
- Don’t drink and ride! That’s a thing? Apparently, so because in 2017 alcohol was involved in 37% of all fatal bicycle accidents.
- Drive with the flow, in the same direction as traffic.
- Obey street signs, signals, and road markings, just like a car. Stop means stop.
- Assume the other person doesn’t see you.
- No texting, listening to music, or using anything that distracts you by taking your eyes and ears or your mind off the road and traffic.
- Ride predictably
- Watch for pedestrians! You hit one, you’re at fault!
Why You Need a Bicycle Accident Attorney
After a bicycle accident, the insurance company is not on your side. They say that they will help you, but, truthfully, they are not there to help you. The insurance company from the at-fault party and their defense team will begin to build a case against you, and it will use anything it can find to undermine the severity of your injuries.
You need the guidance and experience of a personal injury law firm to collect evidence and prove negligence. Financial compensation from the guilty party won’t come easily. Insurance companies are in the business to make money. Our job is to get you the highest compensation so that you can pay your medical bills and lost wages after an accident and compensate you for the pain and suffering you incurred as a result of the other party’s negligence.
Consult an Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyer
At Martin Hernandez PA, our experienced bicycle injury attorneys understand how difficult finances can be after a bicycle crash. Therefore, we offer a free initial consultation. There are no fees or costs unless we win. We understand that your accident has caused you enough stress, and we want to make the legal process easier for you.
Get Lawyered Up Now by calling Tampa bicycle accident lawyer Martin Hernandez at 813.755.9500.