Orlando Bicycle Accident Attorney
About 1,000 bicyclists are killed in America each year. And in 2015 there were almost 467,000 bicycle-related injuries.
According to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Florida was the state with the second highest number of bicyclist fatalities from collisions with cars in 2012. It was only slightly exceeded by California. Just a few years later, in 2015, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the largest number of cyclist fatalities occurred in Florida (150), followed by California (129). Every other State had 50 or fewer cyclist fatalities.
More than 10% of all bicycle deaths in America happen in Florida. When calculated per capita, Florida has by far the highest number of deaths per million residents. Bottom line: riding a bicycle in Florida carries considerably higher risk than in the rest of the country.
Even more concerning according to the GHSA, as the U.S. grapples with a 7.2% uptick in roadway fatalities (35,092) in 2015 (the latest year for which a full data set is available), the news is particularly troubling for bicyclists. Not only did bicyclists as a percentage of crash deaths remain stubbornly unchanged at 2.3 percent, but they represented the largest increase in fatalities (12.2%) when compared to all roadway user groups. During this 12-month period, 818 bicyclists died on U.S. roadways, the largest number since 1995.
Given the minimal protections that a bicyclist has compared to the occupants of a motor vehicle, they are at a higher risk of death or injury in the event of an accident. At Badgley Law Group, we work with bicyclists injured as a result of driver negligence.
When a bicycle is involved in accident with a car, the cyclist could suffer serious injuries that require thousands of dollars in long term treatment costs. Such injuries include broken bones, spinal injuries and brain damage.
It is vital that you are represented by an experienced Orlando bicycle accident attorney to increase the chances of a successful personal injury claim. In the case of death, our team of accident lawyers also assists bereaved families pursue claims against the responsible party.
Who Is at Greatest Risk?
There are numerous risk factors when it comes to cycling accidents. Adolescents and persons aged over 40 have higher fatality rates than the rest of the population. Females are less likely to be killed in bicycle accidents than males. The majority of deaths occur in urban environments. A considerable number of accidents are associated with cyclists or drivers under alcohol or drug intoxication.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the largest risk factors are:
- Adults aged 50 to 59 years have the highest bicycle death rates.
- Children (5-14 years) and adolescents (15-19 years) have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle-related injuries, accounting for more than one-third of all bicycle-related injuries seen in U.S. emergency departments.
- Males die 6 times more often and are injured 4 times more often on bicycles than females.
- Most bicyclist deaths occur in urban areas and at non-intersection locations.
Among bicyclist deaths, 37% had alcohol involvement either for the motor vehicle driver or bicycle rider.
Common causes of bicycle accidents in Florida include:
- Car turning right in front of a bicyclist
- Car entering the street in front of the bicyclist
- Car fails to yield to a bicyclist at an intersection
- A car jumps a red light
- Distracted driving (e.g. texting or phone call) while going past a bicyclist
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Uneven sidewalks
- Defective equipment such as faulty pedals, handlebars, forks or helmets
Certain factors relevant to a bicycle accident are sometimes not adequately covered by law enforcement’s default accident reporting form. These relevant factors though should be noted in the narrative section in order to provide information that could ensure a fair outcome for all parties involved.
Responsibility for staying safe while bicycling works both ways. Not only do motor vehicle operators need to take steps to keep riders safe, there are things according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that riders need to do as well:
Be Prepared Before Heading Out
- Ride a bike that fits you—if it’s too big, it’s harder to control the bike.
- Ride a bike that works—it really doesn’t matter how well you ride if the brakes don’t work.
- Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others, like a bike helmet, bright clothing (during the day), reflective gear, and a white front light and red rear light and reflectors on your bike (at night, or when visibility is poor).
- Ride one per seat, with both hands on the handlebars, unless signaling a turn.
Carry all items in a backpack or strapped to the back of the bike.
- Tuck and tie your shoe laces and pant legs so they don’t get caught in your bike chain.
- Plan your route—if driving as a vehicle on the road, choose routes with less traffic and slower speeds. Your safest route may be away from traffic altogether, in a bike lane or on a bike path.
Drive Defensively – Focused and Alert
- Be focused and alert to the road and all traffic around you; anticipate what others may do, before they do it. This is defensive driving—the quicker you notice a potential conflict, the quicker you can act to avoid a potential crash:
- Drive with the flow, in the same direction as traffic.
- Obey street signs, signals, and road markings, just like a car.
- Assume the other person doesn’t see you; look ahead for hazards or situations to avoid that may cause you to fall, like toys, pebbles, potholes, grates, train tracks.
- 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.
Cycling has grown hugely popular in Florida in no small part due to the state’s great weather virtually all year round. People cycle for different reasons including commute, sport, recreation and fitness. Whatever the reason for hopping on a bike, cyclists must know that they have the same responsibilities and rights on the road as motor vehicles. This is important as cyclists will sometimes be intimidated by other road users who view them as a road nuisance.
We have an experienced Orlando bicycle accident attorney who has handled numerous bicycle accident cases, we know that majority of victims are not aware of their rights or Florida’s bicycle laws. If you are a cyclist who was injured because of a defective bicycle or an accident, and would want to know what your rights are, get in touch with Badgley Law Group for a free consultation.
CONTACT OUR ORLANDO BICYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY!
As Orlando bicycle accident attorneys who have handled numerous bicycle accident cases, we know that majority of victims are not aware of their rights or Florida’s bicycle laws. If you are a cyclist who was injured because of a defective bicycle or a negligent motor vehicle driver, and would want to know what your rights are, get in touch with Badgley Law Group for a free consultation.