Bicycle Safety in South Florida

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Although Naples is a bicycle-friendly city, most riders are still familiar with the dangers of navigating roadways on a daily basis. It’s not uncommon for riders to have a ‘near miss’ or ‘close call’ story to share with friends and family members. Unfortunately, collisions with automobiles often leave cyclists in the hospital or worse. A bicycle rider doesn’t have the benefit of air bags, steel cages and safety belts. They’re truly at the mercy of other drivers on the roadway.

Share the Road with Cyclists

Many bicycle crashes happen because other drivers aren’t properly sharing the road. Drivers who merge into or abruptly stop in front of bicycle riders aren’t paying attention. They may be distracted or just not checking their blind spots. Bicycles are much smaller than cars, so drivers need to be vigilant about their distance and proximity to riders. Cutting off a bicycle rider at an intersection can have deadly consequences. Merging into a bicycle lane can also result in a devastating collision. Motorcycle riders face similar dangers when automobile drivers aren’t paying attention. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to remind motor vehicle drivers to give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing.

Just the Facts

  • 677 cyclists were killed across America in traffic crashes in 2011.
  • In 2010, 623 cyclists were killed in wrecks.
  • In 2011, 48,000 cyclists were injured in crashes.
  • Cyclist deaths accounted for two percent of all traffic deaths in 2011.

Safety Reminders from the NHTSA

Wearing high-visibility clothing, obeying traffic signals and wearing safety gear are all great ways to improve one’s safety. Cyclists should always wear properly fitted bicycle helmets. Wearing a helmet is the best way to protect one’s self from a head injury during a wreck. Even if a cyclist wears a helmet and takes the proper safety precautions, serious injuries can still occur. Ultimately, drivers have to share the road with cyclists. It doesn’t matter how visible your clothing is, if a distracted driver doesn’t bother to look before merging into your lane. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the experienced team at Weldon & Rothman, PL for a free consultation today.

Legal Disclaimer: The above guidelines are educational in nature and do not create an attorney/client relationship. It is highly recommended that all Florida accident victims contact an experienced local Florida personal injury attorney to assist them with specific facts and circumstances regarding their motor vehicle accident. If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident in Florida, then feel free to contact Attorney Weldon toll free at (877) 730-5180 or via e-mail atinfo@weldonrothman.com

Richard L. Weldon, II is an experienced Florida personal injury attorney who has obtained the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell. He is the managing attorney of Weldon & Rothman, PL – a Southwest Florida law firm with offices in Naples, Fort Myers, and Sarasota.

 

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