Choosing to get on a bike and going for a ride, whether for recreational purposes or with the intent of getting somewhere specific, is supposed to be a healthy choice for the individual and the environment, but as bicycle accidents continue to increase on South Florida roads, it may be a hazardous decision. A recent article in the Sun Sentinel reported that bike accidents in Broward and Palm Beach Counties have increased in the time period between 2010 and 2012, with a 42% increase in Broward and a 21% jump in crashes in Palm Beach.
Any accident on a bike can lead to serious injuries, but when a bicyclist collides with a motor vehicle, the consequences can be tragic. The skilled and dedicated Miami personal injury attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have more than 100 years of experience in getting our clients the compensation that they deserve for the harm they have suffered and we are prepared to fight for you. Our firm has favorably resolved many cases where our client was injured or killed because of the negligence of a motorist.
Injuries have increased significantly in South Florida bicycle crashes, with more than 1,000 injuries in 2012 in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Part of the reason for the increased number of crashes is that more people are getting on bicycles for transportation as well as recreation. However, part of the problem has been an increase in collisions between bicyclists and distracted drivers. Although rider error does factor into some accidents, motor vehicle drivers cause a lot of accidents when they miscalculate the speed of a bicyclist and either turn in front of them or turn into them. In addition, many motorists fail to realize or recognize that bicyclists have the same rights and obligations as everyone else on the road. Therefore, motor vehicles are supposed to yield the right-of-way under certain circumstances, which often does not happen, leading to preventable collisions.
Due to the generally nice weather throughout the year, there are many bicyclists on the road throughout the year, which has earned Florida the dubious honor of having the most traffic fatalities of any state, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2011, there were 677 bicycle fatalities across the United States. Out of those, 125 deaths happened in Florida. Arkansas had the next highest number of fatalities, with 114.
Most bicycle accidents happen in urban areas, with the largest number of accidents happening between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Men have a much higher risk of being involved in a fatal accident than women, but this also is due, in part, to the fact that there are more male bicyclists.
Some common causes of collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles include:
• Failing to yield the right-of-way;
• Opening a door into the path of a bicycle;
• Rear-ending the bicyclist;
• Improper turns into the path of the bicyclist; and
• Aggressive driving.
The sad fact is that many motorists resent any momentary inconvenience caused by a bicyclist and will act in a manner that jeopardizes the safety of the rider.
South Florida Personal Injury Attorneys Preserve the Rights of Bicyclists
The year-round beautiful weather of South Florida makes it an ideal place to spend time on a bicycle, but if that activity has led to an accident, you likely are suffering from serious injuries. The caring and skilled personal injury attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano will work hard to get you the means by which to pay your bills and compensate you for your pain and suffering. Our efforts on behalf of our clients have led to an “AV” rating from Martindale Hubbell and an invitation to join Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. In addition, the Miami Herald has voted us one of the top-rated South Florida law firms. Call us today at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an initial consultation about your case.