More bicyclists are hit by cars in Florida than in just about any other state. Among the fifty states, Florida has had the first, second or third highest number of bicycle accidents each year for the last fifteen straight years! In 2012 alone, more than 120 bicyclists were killed in Florida.
Several factors contribute to these sad statistics. Because of the weather, people can ride bicycles all year round in Florida. Also, many Florida drivers and many tourists are not familiar with traffic laws that protect bicyclists. State law permits bicyclists to ride in a traffic lane when there's no dedicated bicycle lane. Further, motorists are supposed to give bicyclists at least three feet of space when passing them in a car.
Although bicycle lanes are springing up in many areas in Florida, the lanes are sometimes confusing, particularly for drivers in a car. Further, cars have to cross bicycle lanes when making either a left or right hand turn. Motorists have to get used to looking to see if a rider is in the bike lane before turning. In fact, most car/bike accidents happen when a driver is turning right and doesn't see the bicyclist on his right approaching the passenger side of this car.
Because bicyclists have very little protection, they often suffer serious injuries. That's why it's so important for all bicyclists to wear a helmet at all times.
It's also very important for bicyclists to carry "uninsured motorist" coverage on their automobile insurance policy. If you are riding your bike and a car hits you, you have no idea whether that driver has auto insurance, or enough auto insurance to pay you for your injuries. If the other driver is uninsured or "under" insured, you can make a claim against your own automobile insurance policy under your own uninsured motorist coverage. Since you can't depend on a stranger to have enough insurance to pay your claim, you can protect yourself by adding uninsured motorist coverage to your own auto insurance policy. It may be the only thing protecting you and your family from the actions of a negligent driver.
If you've been injured in any type of bicycle accident, we'd be happy to discuss whether you have a claim. We have handled a lot of bicycle vs. car collision cases. Our personal injury / bicycle accident lawyers handle cases all over Florida. We offer a free initial consultation.
Please give us a call.