Bicycle accidents on the streets of South Florida have been steadily increasing in recent years. According to the Sun-Sentinel, advocates in Broward and Palm Beach counties have been pleading for improved riding conditions and more education efforts for motorists and cyclists to help improve rider safety.
“We should do more to reduce crashes for all cyclists,” said Robert Sabin, with the Boca Raton Bicycle Club. “The best way to do that is with infrastructure.”
Our Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyers understand that the number of bicyclist injuries has increase by more than 40 percent in Broward County from 2010 to 2012. In Palm Beach County, we’ve seen an increase of more than 20 percent during the same time, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). The number of fatalities has also been on the rise, increasing from 5 in 2010 to 14 in 2010 in Broward County and from 4 in 2020 to 8 in 2012 in Palm Beach County.
In 2012, there were close to 800 bicyclist injuries in Broward County and another 450 in Palm Beach County.
Bicyclists advocates say that the increase in the result of more people biking for transportation and for recreation. Others say that a new law insisting on better accident reports and distracted driving reports is why we’re seeing an increase in the numbers.
It’s tough to get a handle on the actual number of riders we have here in South Florida, but the number of people who report commuting by bicycle has jumped about 10 percent in the last 2 years and more than 60 percent in the last 12 years.
In the state of Florida, bicycle commuting has increase by close to 60 percent from 2005 to 2012. Recently, the League of American Bicyclists ranked Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Pompano Beach among the top 20 cities with the highest percentage of bicycle commuters in the South.
Bicyclists have the same rights to the roadways, and must obey the same traffic laws as the drivers of other vehicles. These laws include stopping for stop signs and red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, using lights at night, yielding the right-of-way when entering a roadway and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office suggests that all riders wear a helmet to best protect against injury in the event of an accident. Proper use of a bike helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 88 percent. A bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and fastened securely upon the passenger’s head by a strap.
It’s also a good idea to keep your bicycle in good condition. You want to check the brakes, tires and handlebars every time you ride.
If you or someone you love has been injured, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
More Blog Entries:
Broward Traffic Safety: Elderly Drivers in Focus, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2013
Bicyclist Death Blamed on Speeding, Drunk, Hit-And-Run Driver, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, November 15, 2013