With its year-round mild temperatures and scenic landscapes, it’s no wonder that Florida is a top location for bicycling. Of course, an increased probability for bicycle accidents comes with a higher number of bikes on the road. On average, there are almost 7,000 bicycle accidents throughout the state every year. In Marion County, FL alone, the annual average is 77 incidents involving bikes and a person is either killed or injured.
If you were injured, you should discuss your circumstances with an experienced Ocala, FL bicycle accidents attorney. However, you can protect yourself from bicycle accidents by knowing the rules that apply to you as a rider, as these regulations are intended for your safety.
Statistics on Bicycle Accidents in Florida: According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) Traffic Crash Facts 2017, there were 6,675 accidents involving bicyclists across the Sunshine State. Breaking down these figures:
- There were 128 people killed and 6,263 victims injured;
- Tampa/St. Petersburg ranks as the deadliest city for bicycle riders in Florida, with a per capita death rate of 7.0 (7.0 deaths per 100,000 people). Jacksonville and Orlando fall second and third; and,
- Florida, California, and Texas comprise around one-quarter of the US population, but 43 percent of bicycle accident fatalities occur in these three states.
Florida’s Rules of the Road for Bicyclists: Though you have many of the same rights as motorists when it comes to using Florida roadways, bicycle riders also have responsibilities. Following the rules of the road is essential for compliance with the law and for your safety. Therefore, you should know that:
- You are obligated to obey all traffic regulations, signals, and signs;
- You must ride with traffic and properly yield right-of-way;
- Your bicycle must have a fixed seat and lights, if you ride between sunset and sunrise;
- Riders are required to stay as close to the right-side curb as possible, except when executing a traffic maneuver;
- You cannot carry passengers if your bicycle is designed for solo use;
- You must keep one hand on the handlebars at all times;
- Riders are prohibited from using listening devices while riding, including headphones and buds; and,
- Many other traffic laws that apply to bicyclists.
Contact a Knowledgeable Ocala, FL Bicycle Accidents Lawyer Today
Despite following Florida’s laws covering bicycle riding, you could still be involved in an accident that was not your fault. If you were hurt, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses. Our team at Piccin & Glynn has handled many bicycle accident cases. We can tell you more about your rights and remedies, so please contact us to set up a free consultation. You can reach our Ocala, FL office by calling 352-558-8480 or by going online. We look forward to hearing from you.