Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety a Worthy New Year’s Goal in Broward

A Broward bicyclist was left in critical condition after a recent accident with a hit-and-run driver who not only slammed right into him, but kept driving for two miles with the bicyclist caught in the vehicle’s smashed rear window.

According to the Miami-Herald, the man drove all the way to his townhouse in Pompano Beach where he then removed the 53-year-old bicyclist from the vehicle’s roof and discarded his body in a wooded area nearby. The spinal injuries could leave the bicyclist paralyzed, police report.

Our Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyers understand that pedestrian and bicyclist traffic in the South Florida area is at high risk of serious danger out there on our roadways. There are drivers, like the one in this recent accident, who have virtually no regard for the safety of these more vulnerable travelers. With the New Year, we’re asking drivers to make a resolution to watch for these travelers to help to make our roadway safer for everyone. Not only will you be helping to protect these travelers, but you will also be helping yourself.

On average, a pedestrian is injured in a traffic accident in the U.S. every eight minutes. Most pedestrian injuries occur as a result of combined inattentiveness of motorists and the failure of pedestrians to use crosswalks. In addition, the failure of both pedestrians and motorists to obey traffic signals can cause a fatality. By taking basic precautions and being aware of one’s surroundings, the likelihood of an unnecessary collision can be dramatically reduced.

And bicycling is just as popular as travelers’ two feet. According to a recent survey by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Health, at least 57 million people, about 27 percent of the population ages 16 and up, are riding bicycles for exercise.

Drivers should resolve to:

-Look out for and always yield the right-of-way to people walking, jogging and biking.

-Avoid using a cell phone while driving.

-Yield to pedestrians and cyclists when turning.

-Drive attentively and at safe speeds.

-Remember, pedestrians can be difficult to see, especially in bad weather or at night.

-Clean your windows well. Especially as mornings become frosty. Get to your car a few minutes earlier to clear off all your windows. Make sure your defroster and windshield wipers are in good working order and replace washer fluid as needed. Be sure to clean the inside of your windows too, as sun glare is amplified through dirty windows.

-Do not pass a vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk. A pedestrian or bicyclist you cannot see may be crossing the street. Stop, then proceed when all pedestrians have crossed the street.

No amount of bicycle safety equipment can adequately protect a rider from the dangerous force of a car or truck if involved in a vehicle collision. The best way to avoid injury is by being prepared for the dangers that streets pose to bicycle riders and by obeying the rules of the road.

One of the greatest challenges that the bicycling community in Fort Lauderdale must overcome is the ability to safely ride, whether for pleasure, exercise, or training. As a general rule, an informed cyclist is a safe cyclist. Please take a moment to review each section below and make your rides as safe as possible!

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.

More Blog Entries:

Bicycle Accidents in South Florida on the Rise, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, December 12, 2013
Broward Traffic Safety: Elderly Drivers in Focus, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2013

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