2020 Pedalcyclist fatalities were highest in Florida (170), followed by California (129) and Texas (79), according to the latest figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2020, there was a 9% increase in the number of pedalcyclists killed (938), compared to 859 in 2019.
2020 TOTAL PEDALCYCLIST CRASHES/ACCIDENTS—
FLORIDA RANKS THIRD.
Whether a cyclist is riding a bicycle as a means of commuting, recreation, or exercise, it is imperative that those taking to the roadways, sidewalks, or pedestrian travel lanes on anything other than a motorized vehicle understand the rights extended to the cyclist as well as the responsibilities expected of the cyclist.
Most jurisdictions, whether state, county, or city, have some form of “bike law” that applies to both motorists and cyclists. Understanding those laws is a great first step for many and should be reviewed on a regular basis by seasoned cyclists regardless of the purpose of the endeavor: recreation, commuting, etc.
If you’ve been the victim of a bicycle accident involving a vehicle, put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. Consult with a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you.
When Do Most Bicycle Accidents Occur?
Bicycle deaths are highest during the summer months between June and September. Nearly three-quarters of all bicycle deaths occur in urban areas. Failing to yield the right of way is the highest factor in fatal bike crashes, followed by bicyclists not being visible. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicycle-safety
Research From The NHTSA
Reveals That Fatal Bicycle Accidents
Are Most Likely To Occur Between
6 P.M. And 9 P.M. During The Week
And 9 P.M. To 12 A.M. On The Weekend.
Impact and Types of Vehicles
Pedalcyclists who died in single-vehicle crashes were most likely to be struck by the front of the vehicles.
Light trucks were the most frequently involved vehicles in traffic crashes in which a pedalcyclist was killed (361 of the 870). Eighty-nine percent (320) of these pedalcyclists came into contact with the front of the light truck.
Steps to Avoiding An Accident With A Vehicle
This is along the lines of what is in the personal control of the cyclist, and much of this is also addressed by bike laws:
- A tuned, functional, and road-fit bicycle (brakes, reflectors)
- Adequate safety lights (forward and backward facing)
- A safe helmet intended for bicycle use
- Bright or reflective attire
- Eyewear for the weather or daylight conditions
Proper planning is also in the control of the cyclist, though not mandated by bike laws:
- Choosing a well-lit route
- Choosing roadways with fewer obstacles such as crossroads, driveways, and construction zones
- Avoiding dawn and dusk riding when a blinding sun may be on the horizon… The list could go on depending on the specifics of the cycling location chosen.
These factors, combined with the notion of respecting the rules of the road and anticipating vehicles and other pedestrians (“riding defensively”), are a fantastic frame for controlling what can be controlled to the best of the ability of the cyclist.
In the unfortunate event that a motorist versus cyclist accident does occur, this should be treated much like any other motor vehicle accident involving attention to the health, safety, and wellness of those involved with the immediate deployment of emergency medical personnel and law enforcement.
Documentation of the scene (photos), notation of or digital voice memos regarding the incident (document the weather and road conditions, time of day, identification of all parties and vehicles involved (first and last name, phone number, dates of birth, vehicle make/model/color, license plate or tag numbers), identification of any witnesses to the event (first and last name, contact information), documentation of any bodily injuries, including damage to property.
What to Do If You Get Hit by a Car While Riding Your Bike
In the unfortunate event that a motorist versus cyclist accident does occur, it should be treated much like any other motor vehicle accident involving attention to the health, safety, and wellness of those involved with the immediate deployment of emergency medical personnel and law enforcement.
Once immediate safety has been secured, someone should obtain (via notation, digital voice memo, or photographs):
Documentation of the scene, including details of the weather, road conditions, and time of day, including identification of all parties and vehicles involved (first and last name, phone number, date of birth, vehicle make/model/color, license plate or tag numbers). identify any witnesses to the event (first and last name, contact information). Documentation of any bodily injuries, including helmet and clothing damage and documentation of the vehicle(s) and bicycle(s) damaged.
Bicycle Accident Checklist
1. Call the police and report the accident (even if you don’t think you are hurt).
2. Pay attention to and remember what the other party says about how the accident occurred.
3. Preserve the condition of your bike, helmet, clothing, footwear, lighting, and other property.
4. Report the crash to your own car insurance company as soon as possible. Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to accident claims (let your lawyer deal with the at-fault party and their insurance company).
5. Seek medical help. Under Florida law, your car insurance is “primary” for your medical bills. Allow the ER or hospital to bill you for your car ins.
6. Keep documentation of the accident. Police report, photos of the bike (etc.), the scene, surroundings, other party’s vehicle
7. Maintain an injury log.
8. Don’t discuss the accident on social media.
9. Consult a personal injury lawyer that specializes in bicycle accidents in Florida.
10. Always remember: you are invisible on a bicycle.
Seeking medical care for a thorough assessment by a qualified medical professional (emergency department, urgent care, primary care provider, medical specialist) should not be overlooked or delayed.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
The most common injuries, such as skin abrasions (i.e., road rash), maybe a harbinger of an underlying injury such as fractures, dislocations, cardiopulmonary or vascular injury, or disrupted tendons/ligaments.
A broken helmet could be an indication that an evaluation for intracranial, neck or cervical spine injury may be warranted.
Pensacola injury lawyer Joe Zarzaur and
Dr. Evan Malone are active cyclist and participate
in triathlons on a regular basis.
By hiring Zarzaur Law, you will hire a legal team that understands cycling, knows cyclist rights, and will aggressively help you fight for your rights. At Zarzaur Law, we handle bicycle injury cases, defective bicycle components, defective roadway conditions, as well as everything else related to bicycle accident cases.
Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.
It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.
If you’ve been the victim of a bicycle accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.
For more information review the links below and research the organizations specific to your locale:
CDC Bicycle Safety
NHTSA Bicycle Crash Stats
2021 Florida Statutes – 316.2065: Bicycle regulations
Florida Bicycle Association
West Florida Wheelmen