Sunshine encourages tourists and native Floridians to enjoy the weather. However, more people enjoying outside activities like biking creates an environment of confusion and safety hazards for riders and drivers.
Serious injury to bicyclists occur daily. Careless drivers can inflict deadly damage to your body while you bike in bike lanes or legally ride on residential roads across Florida.
Before you join the many cyclists on the road, be sure you know your risks and practice all safety measures to protect yourself from an inattentive driver. Should you be injured in a bike accident, know that your preventative actions may save you from further injury and assist you with a higher payout.
The risks of personal injury on bicycles
According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), over 26,000 bicycle crashes occurred from 2011-2014. The number of fatal and serious injury crashes increased by 30 percent in the same 3 years.
As health and wellness movements soar, so does the number of people using bicycles to exercise. When summer peaks, hundreds of bicycle riders in Central Florida appear. Many drivers glance in their mirrors to check for cars, but some forget to check for approaching cyclists.
Serious head, back and leg injuries result from being hit by a car on a bicycle. It may prove wise to follow safety recommendations not necessarily required by law.
Protect your body from personal injury
Florida carries the second highest fatality rate among bicyclists in the nation. You may be unable to protect yourself against all serious injuries that result from a distracted driver, but following basic bicycle laws and recommendations may help you prevent a crash.
- Wear protective gear. Bicycle helmets save riders from extreme head injury. FDOT's analysis shows that crashes involving helmet-wearing bicyclists were less severe than crashes involving bikers without head protection.
- Wear reflective clothing. When biking at dusk or at night, wearing bright clothing or using bike lights notifies drivers of your presence.
- Use bike paths and sidewalks. Although it is legal for bicyclists to use common roadways and follow traffic laws, you may reduce your risk of injury by a distracted driver by biking on paths near the roadway.
- Use hand gestures. Indicate where you plan to bike by using common biking road gestures. Because most bikes do not use blinkers, drivers often fail to notice cyclists.
It is your right to feel safe on a roadway as a biker. However, in accidental instances, you may find yourself injured by a vehicle. Avoid serious head or bodily injury by taking steps to ensuring that if a crash does occur, you protect yourself. You may avoid hospital visits and years of rehabilitation, and you may even avoid a personal injury lawsuit.