When you take a close look at the statistics, it becomes clear that Florida has the most bicycle accidents in the country. The bicycle accident rate has remained consistent for many years which shows just how dangerous it can be to ride a bicycle in the Sunshine State. Although white-painted bikes dot most urban areas, there has been no decrease in the rate. Therefore, bicyclists are highly vulnerable when they ride, especially when it comes to South Florida.
According to an analysis by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), 161 of the 856 bicyclists who had lost their lives in the United States were riding on the streets of Florida. The next state on the list is California which has double the population. It had 131 bike crashes that proved to be fatal. Moreover, 5.1% of the traffic deaths in Florida involve bicyclists, whereas, the national rate stands at 0.26%. When the population is factored in, the rate is even higher. Areas like Orland, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, and Fort Lauderdale have the highest rates of reported incidents.
As motorists drive too fast and are too distracted, they do not realize that there are cyclists on the road until it is too late. Despite the fact that most of the tragedies are avoidable, little has been done. Even though some important legislation has been introduced to address distraction, the laws are still not properly enforced which is why cyclists continue to suffer at the hands of drivers.
According to F.S. 316.083, drivers have to provide at least 3 feet of distance to bicyclists before passing or overtaking. However, most drivers fail to follow this law and do not face any consequences. The cultural attitude towards bicyclists is also to blame. Unlike in many parts of the country where bicycling is considered a legitimate form of transportation, the leaders in Florida fail to realize that a bicycle is a slow-moving vehicle. Thus, motorists engage in dangerous behavior which puts the lives of cyclists at risk.
Moreover, it is unfortunate that the streets have been designed for fast-moving vehicle traffic only. America has not developed a system of transportation that allows one to walk and bike. There is also a lack of public transport infrastructure. In fact, urban streets have been designed like rural highways as they offer high-speed limits and wide lanes without any bicycle lanes or sidewalks.
Only some steps have been taken by the Florida Department of Transportation to bring about change for directing road designs. Transportation engineers and planners are working to create a system that has a dedicated area for cyclists. Narrower car lanes, lower vehicle speeds, designated bicycle lanes, pull-offs, safe interactions, and on-street parking are necessary for ensuring bicycle-friendly traffic. However, these changes are not happening soon enough.
There have been around 50,000 bicyclists who had been injured in a single year in Florida which is alarming. Urban areas are unsafe for cyclists as they report up to 78% of cyclist fatalities. This is why it is crucial that you seek an experienced wrongful death/injury attorney if you or your loved one has been killed or injured in a bicycle accident in Fort Lauderdale.
The main reason why you require a lawyer to help you out is that your options for compensation would be limited due to the fact that cyclists do not carry personal injury protection which is a must for vehicle operators. Only if you have coverage would you receive up to $10,000. Otherwise, the driver’s coverage would kick in. But, if the injuries are severe and the amount does not cut it, you will have to seek damages from the other party’s insurer.
There is also a possibility that the driver might not even have insurance. In such a situation, you would have no option but to file a claim with your underinsured/uninsured coverage carrier. However, you cannot file the claim on your own and would require a dedicated injury attorney to help you out.
If you want to boost your chances of getting compensated, you require a reputable Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney to help you out. The lawyer would offer a free consultation to learn more about your rights and will guide you through the process. We provide the best bicycle accident attorneys in Fort Lauderdale. Therefore, all you have to do is reach out to us and we will it from there.
As we have worked on countless injury cases, we know the law inside and out. There is nothing that we are more passionate about than helping our clients get the justice that they deserve. We leverage our experience to provide the best service. Hence, you could not be in better hands.