Riding a bicycle for exercise or to commute to and from work has grown in popularity nationwide and especially in warm climate regions like central Florida.
Unfortunately, some motorists don’t respect cyclists. Drivers in cars and trucks have an “I own the road” attitude, and this attitude can have tragic consequences.
According to ClickOrlando.com, law enforcement reported more than 6,000 crashes involving people riding bicycles in 2018. Of those crashes, 149 were fatal. The data comes from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ Crash Dashboard.
What are the common types of bicycle crashes?
Bicycle crashes can happen for any number of reasons, including, but not limited to:
- Driver distraction: Many crashes occur as a result of a driver who is not paying attention to the road. ClickOrlando.com reports that a retired Marine who was riding a three-wheeled bicycle was killed near Orlando International Airport. The police accident report revealed the driver was looking at her phone.
- Sideswipes: A motorist who doesn’t give a cyclist enough room while passing sometimes strikes the bicycle. Florida state law is clear that drivers must allow at least 3 feet between the vehicle and bicycle when passing.
- Striking a bicycle when turning right: Drivers turning right sometimes fail to check their blind spot. Sometimes a cyclist is riding near the car and can get clipped by a driver who is making the turn.
- Drunk or drugged driving: Intoxicated drivers experience a reduced reaction time, which increases the likelihood of causing a crash, including cycling injuries and fatalities.
- Speeding: A speeding driver has less time to react and may lose control of their car. A cyclist can suffer serious or fatal injuries when struck by a car that is traveling too fast.
- Open door crash: A driver parked on a street opens a car door without checking to ensure a cyclist isn't riding toward that side of the car.
How an attorney can help
The Orlando Sentinel reported on 2015 national traffic data that revealed Florida is the deadliest state for bicycle fatalities. If you are injured in a crash – even if you think it’s minor – you should seek immediate medical attention. An examination may show your injuries are more serious than you think.
In addition, if you fail to seek medical treatment, or ignore follow-up treatment, you will send a message to the insurance company that your crash was trivial. Insurance companies will look for any reason to reduce compensation.
If you were injured or your loved one died in a bicycle crash, you will need an experienced attorney on your side. Contact the Law Offices of Scott M. Miller, PLLC for a free and confidential consultation. We serve clients in Longwood and Orlando.