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Safety Tips for Drivers: Preventing Bike Crashes

Bicycle accidents in Hollywood and across Florida are all too common. In fact, in past years, Southern Florida has been ranked as among the most dangerous places in the country for bikers.

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Bicycle accidents have a high rate of injury, because bikers have so few layers of protection. A collision between a bike and a car are likely to lead to head injuries, internal injuries, whiplash and even fatalities. In almost all cases, it is the bicyclist who suffers the most serious injuries. Sadly, many bicycle accidents involve children.

Everyone has a responsibility to prevent biking accidents, and as a driver there are several things you can do to prevent these crashes:

  • Keep scanning the road around you and stay alert. Be especially careful to look around you when making turns, switching lanes, or backing up.
  • Stay alert and sober. Put away distractions and never drive when sleepy or under the influence of any alcohol or drugs.
  • Install a camera in your car which lets you see behind you when you back up. Many serious backover accidents occur when children play behind a car, and this simple investment lets you see clearly behind you each time you back up.
  • Maintain good visibility. Use your headlights as needed and keep your windshield clean. Replace your wipers regularly to ensure you can see, even in inclement weather.
  • Treat bicyclists like cars. Do not attempt to share a lane and give bicyclists plenty of room. Do not tailgate or cut them off. When passing a bike, slow down and give a few feet of space when passing. Before reentering your lane, check over your shoulder to ensure you have enough space.
  • Prepare for the unexpected. New bikers and children on bicycles may not react as you expect. They may not know or use hand signals to indicate turns and other maneuvers. Your safest course of action is to slow down, give them lots of room, and be ready for anything.
  • Do not speed or drive aggressively. Revving your engine, honking, or speeding past bicyclists will not make them go faster and may startle them enough to cause an accident. When driving around bicyclists, stay calm and procced with caution.
  • Use your advantage to scan the road ahead of bicyclists and drive defensively. Always think a few maneuvers ahead. If a bike is stopped, do not attempt to go around, especially if you cannot see why the biker has stopped.
  • Use extra caution in low visibility conditions. Bicyclists should be wearing reflective and easy-to-see clothing, but they do not always take these precautions. Stay extra alert in low-visibility conditions.

Have you been injured in a car or bicycle accident anywhere in South Florida? Contact a Hollywood bicycle accident attorney to find out your legal option. You may be able to pursue a legal claim to seek compensation for your medical costs, lost wages at work, and more. To speak to an experienced and compassionate attorney, contact us at Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation.