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Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

Bicycling is a great exercise. While spin class is often seen as a great way to lose weight and get aerobic exercise, nothing quite beats the experience of bicycling outdoors, in the fresh air. South Florida residents in Homestead are especially lucky to have many beautiful residential streets as well as a mild climate to enjoy. Unfortunately, Florida does not have a great reputation for bicycle safety. In fact, South Florida has for many years been rated one of the top areas of the country for fatal bicycle and pedestrian accidents.

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If you are bicycling for your health or for enjoyment, you will want to take a few steps to ensure that you avoid getting involved in a bicycle accident in Homestead:

1) Stay visible. You are more likely to be in a car or truck accident in Homestead if cars can’t see you. Unfortunately, many motorists are not looking for bicycles, and this oversight can easily lead to collisions. Make it as easy as possible for cars and trucks to see you. This means wearing light, reflective clothing and using lights and reflective stickers on your bicycle – especially if you’re bicycling at night or poor lighting conditions. Make eye contact with drivers, to ensure that they can see you.

2) Follow the rules of the road. Signal before turning and always drive with traffic. Obey traffic rules, just as you would if you were in a car. While bicycles are far more flexible than cars, keep in mind that motorists cannot see you if you are somewhere where they don’t expect it to be – such as driving off of a sidewalk onto the road or driving through a red light.

3) Choose your routes carefully. Where possible, drive on bicycle lanes or if you would like a relaxing bicycle ride, choose one of the many parks in Florida that have bicycle paths. Avoid areas with high volume, fast traffic and no bicycle lanes, especially if you will be bicycling at night.

4) Take bicycling as seriously as you take driving. Would you drive drunk? Would you drive while texting or driving distracted? Would you drive with headphones on? If you would not do it in a car, don’t do it while on a bicycle. Distracted driving, fatigued driving, and drunk driving in Homestead and other communities cause not only car accidents but bicycle accidents as well. Keep your entire focus on bicycling, especially if you are sharing the road with larger vehicles.

5) Wear a helmet. While a helmet will not help prevent a crash, it can help prevent serious head injuries if you are in Homestead bicycle accident. Wearing a helmet, safety experts agree, is one of the best ways to prevent head trauma and injury. Wear one every time you hop on your bicycle.

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While all Davie car accidents are frightening and can lead to serious accidents, collisions involving a car and a bicycle are often devastating. Since the cyclist is not enclosed, the size and car of a passenger car often leads to very serious or even fatal injury. In many cases, Davie bicycle accidents are caused by drivers who take risks or fail to pay attention. Fortunately, there are many things that drivers can do to prevent these types of accidents:

1) When passing cyclists, give them plenty of room. At least a few feet reduces the risk of collisions.

2) Pass cyclists quickly. While drivers may think that they are being courteous by passing cyclists slowly, it can actually make cyclists nervous and can cause a collision. Simply give cyclists plenty of room and pass as you would a car.

3) Check for cyclists before opening a car door. If you are opening your car door where cyclists are riding, a bicyclist may not notice the car door in time to stop, and the collision is enough to seriously injure or kill a cyclist.

4) Do not honk at bicyclists unless absolutely necessary. This can startle someone on a bicycle and can lead to a collision. Bicyclists can generally hear a much larger vehicle, such as a car, behind them.

5) Get familiar with the signals bicyclists use when turning. In some instances, drivers are not aware of these signals and cannot prevent an accident because they cannot anticipate where bicyclists are headed.

6) Never drive distracted. Bicyclists are more flexible than motorists in that they can zip up behind a car quite quickly and can be hidden in a car’s blind spots. Driving distracted increases your risk of a Davie pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, and every other type of traffic accident.

7) Check your blind spots. Bicycles are small enough to hide in your blind spot, so check your blind spot.

8) Never drive drunk. Davie drunk driving accidents claim too many lives each year. These accidents are completely preventable, which makes them even more tragic. If you will be drinking, make sure you have a few plans for getting home safely.

9) Drive defensively. Driving defensively ensures that you anticipate the movements of other motorists, so that you can avoid a collision if necessary.

10) Treat bicyclists like cars. Never attempt to share a lane with bicyclists and make sure that you provide them with the same space and courtesy you would provide to any vehicle. Use signal lights and eye contact to ensure that bicyclists can see you when you change lanes, turn, or pass.

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According to a recent investigative report, very few New York City bicyclists killed or injured in car accidents ever get justice. In fact, in 2011 the Big Apple saw 21 bicyclist fatalities, but only two drivers were ever arrested in these cases. While similar numbers are not available for Miami, anecdotal evidence suggests that bicyclists in Florida also have a similar problem getting justice after an accident. There are many possible reasons for this:

1) According to some groups, including Transportation Alternatives, police are not tough enough on motorists. In many cases, budget cuts may mean that police have few resources for bicycle accidents. In 2008, bicyclist Rasha Shamoon was struck and killed by a motorist who had six prior traffic infractions. Despite this, police did not conduct accident reconstruction, made errors in the police report, and concluded that Shamoon was at fault. The bicyclist’s family took the case to court, where it was shown that Shamoon was not speeding, as police claimed, and the court found the driver 95% responsible for the accident.

2) Bicyclists are often assumed at fault. Some individuals assume that bicyclists take risks and are often at fault of accidents. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking can influence investigations into Miami traffic accidents that involve bicyclists.

3) There is a great disparity between bicycles and cars. In a Miami car accident involving two cars, the damage to both vehicles and parties can be comparable. In a Miami bicycle accident, however, the bicyclist is often killed or seriously injured, making it hard for that victim to provide their own statement of events during the investigation. As well, while such accidents often cause little damage to the car or truck, in some cases these accidents become hit and run accidents, making it harder to catch the driver and bring them to justice.

4) Bicyclists are not insured. In a Miami car accident involving two vehicles, insurance carriers need careful police reports and there are often insurance investigations as well. In a case involving a bicyclist, especially if the bicyclist is found at fault, there may not be the same investigation unless the bicyclist’s family works with a Miami personal injury attorney and filed a civil suit.

5) Laws. Since cars are so prevalent, laws have been passed to ensure that not all traffic violations are criminalized. This can make it harder for bicyclists and their families to argue that an accident was in fact vehicular manslaughter or another serious crime.

If you are a bicyclist injured in a Miami traffic accident, it is important to speak with an experienced Miami personal injury attorney about your case as soon as possible. A good attorney can gather evidence about your case and can investigate the cause of the accident so that you are not held at fault if the collision was caused by a motorist. A good attorney can also help you understand the steps you need to take to pursue fair compensation. It is common for a Miami bicycle accident to be very expensive. In addition to high medical bills, there are often transportation costs and lost pay to consider. A good attorney can help you understand the true costs of your injuries and can work with you as you pursue justice.

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In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that Florida led the US in bicycle accidents. Although the numbers of bicycle accident fatalities in the state has been dropping slowly since 1991, the state still sees many such accidents and according to at least one Florida newspaper, twenty percent of traffic fatalities in five Florida countries (Broward County, Indian River County, Martin County, Palm Beach County, and St. Lucie County) in 2009 were attributed to pedestrian and bicycle accidents.

There are many things that cause Florida car accidents involving bicyclists. One problem is that there are many motorists and many bicycle enthusiasts in Florida, which means two very different types of vehicles sharing the road. Some counties have been trying to build more bicycle-only paths and lanes to keep bicyclists and cars apart. In May 2011, for example, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties proposed a new trail for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-car traffic.

The summer is an especially dangerous time for Florida bicycle accidents. More cyclists take the opportunity to head outside and more tourists can mean more car traffic in Florida, as well. Vacations and time away from work also mean more chances for people to hop into their cars or on their bikes, meaning more traffic. Luckily, we can all work together to prevent Florida car accidents and bike accidents this summer.

Bicyclists can help by riding safe. That means riding on bicycle trails or bike lanes where possible. When no such options are available, it is safest for bicyclists to ride with the flow of traffic on the far right, closest to the right hand side of the street. Bicyclists can also wear reflective clothing, maintain good eye contact with drivers around them, and use hand signals to ensure that drivers are aware of their intended direction.

Motorists can help by staying alert for bicyclists. In many car accidents involving passenger cars, motorists claim that they simply did not see a bicyclist in time. Stay alert when passing popular areas for bicyclists and never drive in the bicycle lane. Give bicyclists plenty of room and become familiar with the hand signals that bicyclists to indicate turns.

Both bicyclists and motorists can avoid traffic accidents by driving sober and alert. While motorists tend to be the focus of awareness campaigns, both bicyclists and motorists are dangerous on the road when driving under the influence or when driving tired. Both on a bike and in a car, you need good response times and a good focus. If you are tired or intoxicated, take a cab or get a friend to drive you safely home.

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