According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deaths among Florida bicyclists age 20 and older have tripled since 1975. The study provides insights on some of the most common causes of fatal bicycle accidents in Florida:
- 38 percent of such accidents were the result of the bicyclist or motorist failing to yield right of way
- 16 percent were the result of the motorist or bicyclists making improper turns or otherwise failing to heed traffic laws
- 10 percent of accidents were the result of a bicyclists wearing clothing that is difficult to see at night
One telling fact from the study is that 57 percent of cyclists ride with traffic, while 21 percent ride against it. This highlights a very important safety concern for bicyclists, who should always ride with traffic to limit the chances of being involved in an accident.
An imbalance of risk
While this study shows that bicyclists and motorists both share responsibility for the number of bicycle accidents in Florida, the risk shared between the two groups if far from equal. Bicyclists are extremely vulnerable to injury and death in the event of a collision with a car, truck or other motor vehicle. While bicyclists should do everything in their power to protect their own safety, they do not have control over dangerous behaviors of motorists, including distracted and drunk driving.
When bicyclists suffer injuries, they should know their legal options. It is bad enough to have your rights violated on the road. Losing your rights in the legal system can deprive you of the fair and just compensation you deserve when a negligent driver is at fault.