Know Your Rights as a Bicyclist
According to The Orlando Sentinel, deaths and injuries related to deaths have increased nationally with Florida leading the way. Many Americans in general and Floridians in particular like to ride their bikes for fun and health. It has been reposted that close to 20,000 bicyclists took to the road in 2016, and close to 25% of those cyclists were either killed or seriously injured. The law says motorist should allow 3 feet for passing a bicycle, but laws are often disobeyed. We communicate that cyclists should know their rights on the roadway. Florida drivers not being aware of and obeying road laws relating to cyclists, can and often cause deadly accidents.
It is because of this why The Florida Department of Highway and Safetyreminds everyone to Share the Road, so all road users can Arrive Alive! “All motorists should use extra caution when driving around bicyclists, motorcyclists and commercial motor vehicles (CMV).” The “Share the Road” campaign encourages automobile drivers to be mindful or others on the road. According to Florida law, the bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle and has all of the privileges, rights and responsibilities on public roads (except for expressways) that a motor vehicle operator has.
Bicyclists have the right to ride out of the bike lane and travel in more narrow lanes for their own safety to avoid obstacles, pavement hazards, or to prepare for a left turn. Here are few rules for cyclists to follow:
Rules for Bicyclists
- Obey all traffic controls and signals.
- Do not ride a bicycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Stay alert
- Use the bike lane if you are not traveling at the speed of other traffic
- Use directional hand signals to communicate with other drivers
- Never attach yourself or your bike to any vehicle on the roadway.
- Yield to the right-of-way to pedestrians.
- Between sunset and sunrise, use a white light visible from 500 feet
- It is recommended that all bicycle riders wear a helmet
- You may use the full lane when making a left turn
Even with the foremost effective safety efforts, bicycle accidents do occur and may cause serious injury. It is recommended that cyclists:
- Be visible
- Wear protective gear
- Avoid paying attention to headphones
- Ride in teams or with buddies
Bicycle accident injuries can include traumatic brain injuries, facial injury, broken or broken bones, spinal or back injury and various surface or internal injuries. Even applying all these precautionary measures can still cause a person to become a victim of a bicycle accident as a result of a distracted driver who
- Exits a road aggressively
- Fails to adjust traffic signs
- Fails to yield the right-of-way
- Is Impaired
- Turns while not waiting
Bicycle accident victims can potentially suffer from permanent injuries, which includes:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head/neck injuries
After an accident you should:
- Always file a police report no matter what – some injuries are invisible and you might not know of a problem until a later date
- Collect information from the driver(s) and any witnesses present
- Document the scene of the accident – take pictures if possible
- Don’t fix your bike or replace the helmet; evidence tells the story
- Know your rights by contacting an attorney before contacting your insurance company
Insurance companies do not fight for your rights. We do! You should be focused on the healing process and recovering. The Kurt Thompson Law Group can take care of your paperwork, handle the investigation, build your case with supporting documents, and deal with the insurance companies to make sure you have maximum results. We will protect your rights and make sure you know all your options. Our attorneys are available 24/7 including weekends in order to be there when you need us. Contact us today at 1-888-487-8971.