Florida is known for its sunny weather almost all year round. For that reason, it is not unusual to see more people hitting the bike trails. Some like to bike for exercise, recreation, and even transportation to work and/or school.
But unfortunately more bikers means more accidents…
Florida Tops the Charts for Cyclists (…and Not in a Good Way)
Florida is one of the top states known for the most bicycle-related deaths in the nation.
Is this due to a comfortable riding climate or is there critical concern?
Exercise. Environment. Economics.
More and more people are using bicycles as their primary means of transportation. Some do this to improve their health. Others prefer to use their bicycles to support their environmental consciousness. To encourage safety, the state of Florida has constructed more paths for recreational bikers to ride off the roadways.
For those who choose to bike on the roadways for transportation purposes, bike lanes are also part of the roadway infrastructure in some areas.
A Path to Safety?
Even though bike paths and bike lanes are meant to improve safety, the risk for accidents is still present. Bicycle paths are commonly found near rivers, parks, lakes, and roadways. While bike paths serve a safe purpose, the risks for colliding into another pedestrian, fellow biker or even a motorist are still factors…
Ironically, many “bicycle paths” are designed to accommodate more than bicyclists; pedestrians also use them. Therefore, both bicyclists and pedestrians need to be on the alert for each other as they travel. If a bicyclist hits a pedestrian, the impact is severe…and can even cause death. In fact, there were 120 deaths from riding bicycles in Florida in 2014 alone…
Unfortunately, most bike paths are not regularly supervised nor are they properly maintained. Local municipalities create these paths, but do not always maintain the surface properly. For this reason, there are path defects that affect the bicyclists and can result in a crash, swerving off the path and colliding in a pedestrian or other bicyclist.
Caution on the Roadways
When bicyclists share the roadways with motor vehicles, the risk of an accident increases significantly. Sometimes, the motorist will unintentionally drive into bicycle lanes, creating more danger for the bicyclist. It is important to be aware of people riding on bicycles and judge the distance of the bike lane to motor vehicle traffic. In many cases, the accident occurs when the vehicle turns without noticing the bicyclist traveling in the bike lane.
Bicycle accidents—whether they occur on a bike path, roadway, or with a pedestrian—can lead to devastating injuries. In fact, Southwest Florida ranked in the top ten cities in the state for bicycle-related accidents, injuries, and fatalities. In the last five years, there were over 1,400 accidents recorded in this area alone.
If you have received injuries due to a bicycle accident, while riding or as a pedestrian while walking on a trail or roadway, it is best to speak to a bicycle accident lawyer.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately for a consultation where you can discuss details of the case and get the legal help that you deserve.