Florida’s Suncoast is full of beautiful views, vacationing tourists, quaint cafes, and fun family activities. It’s no wonder why this area is particularly popular with cyclists. Families on vacation, or locals just out to enjoy their day, will ride their bicycles up and down Florida’s Suncoast admiring the atmosphere and taking in all that the region has to offer.
While these should be beautiful and cherished days, they can get dangerous fast when bicycle accidents occur. Between the years 2010 and 2018, the rate of bicycle accident fatalities in the United States has increased by a whopping 38%, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, many of these accidents could be avoided if only motorists paid closer attention to the rules of the road.
Getting to the bottom of bicycle accidents on Florida’s Suncoast, some of the most common causes of these accidents are:
- Distracted driving – Recent studies have found that more than 60% of drivers admit to texting while driving, 33% admit to checking e-mail, 17% admit to taking selfies, and 10% admit to “face timing” or using other video chat apps. A bicyclist might be easy to miss due to their smaller size and location at the shoulder of a road, but they’re even easier to miss when motorists are paying little attention to the road in general. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents today, including those involving bicyclists sharing the road.
- Bicyclist inattention or distraction – It’s not only motorists driving distracted these days, and some bicyclists may not be giving their full attention to the road as well. Bicyclists using gadgets to track their miles or serve as a GPS, or bicyclists wearing headphones or earbuds, might miss hazards or traffic signals that puts them at risk. For this reason, it’s always recommended that bicyclists give their full attention when sharing the road.
- Failure to yield – One rule of the road that many motorists forget is that bicyclists should be treated as you’d treat a vehicle while sharing the road, and this means yielding when they have the right of way. According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center one of the most common bicycle and vehicle accident scenarios is when a vehicle makes a left turn, fails to yield to a bicyclist in the oncoming lane, and causes a collision. It’s important for vehicles to remember and respect that bicycles are to be treated as vehicles while on the road.
- Riding at night – More than half of all bicycle and vehicle accidents occur after dark. By the time a bicyclist is seen at night, it’s often too late for a motorist to correct their driving and avoid an accident. For this reason, it’s important for bicyclists to wear reflective gear, outfit their bikes with lights, and make sure they’re able to be seen with plenty of notice while driving on the road.
- Dooring – Often occurring in more urban or populated areas, dooring accidents can be particularly dangerous to bicyclists. When a car is parked near a bicycle lane or the shoulder of a roadway, and a passenger or driver opens their door without looking for an oncoming cyclist, the cyclist can then hit the door and cause serious injury.
Bicycle accidents are an often serious type of auto accident, and injured cyclists may require significant medical care to recover from their injuries. To learn more about why representation is important after being caught in a bicycle accident, contact us at JusticePays.com today.
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