Florida leads the nation in bicycle fatalities most years. If you’re a driver in the state, you have a responsibility to share the road with cyclists and prevent these tragic accidents.
You also have the right to avoid being blamed for causing an accident you didn’t cause. At Flaxman Law Group, our legal team works with both bicyclists and drivers who have been injured through no fault of their own. When you work with a Florida bicycle accident attorney at Flaxman Law Group, we strive to get you fair compensation for your injuries.
We have also put together this list of tips to help you avoid bicycle accidents as a driver in Florida:
- Check your blind spots when turning or changing lanes. Many bicycle accidents happen because drivers don’t see cyclists in their blind spots and crash into them. Always check your mirrors and look over your shoulder before making any lane changes or turns. Use your turn signals well in advance and yield to cyclists who have the right of way.
- Give cyclists enough space when passing them. Florida law requires drivers to have at least three feet of clearance when passing a cyclist. This helps prevent sideswiping or clipping accidents.
- Be careful when opening your car door. When drivers open their car doors without checking for oncoming cyclists it can result in a “dooring” accident, where a cyclist crashes into an open car door or swerves to avoid it and gets hit by another car. To prevent this, always look behind you before opening your car door.
- Watch out at intersections and crosswalks. Intersections and crosswalks are high-risk areas for traffic crashes of all types, including bicycle collisions. Always obey traffic signals and signs. Scan the road for cyclists before entering an intersection or crosswalk. Don’t block bike lanes or crosswalks with your vehicle. Don’t make right turns on a red without checking for cyclists on your right.
- Never drive distracted or in poor physical condition. Distractions, impairment, fatigue, and aggression can impair your ability to share the road safely. Avoid using your phone, eating, drinking, or doing anything else that takes your eyes, hands, or mind off driving. Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs or when you are tired, unwell, sleepy, aggravated, upset, or distracted.
- Know where bicyclists are. In Hollywood, Homestead, and other South Florida communities there are streets where bicyclists can commonly be found. Bicyclists may also be crossing the road or entering or leaving the road near where popular biking trails are. Get familiar with these areas so you can be extra cautious where bicyclists are most likely to be.
Following these tips can help you reduce the risk of bicycle collisions, but of course crashes can still happen. If you’re a driver or cyclist injured in a traffic crash, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a Florida bicycle accident claims attorney. Your free consultation is your chance to get answers and to learn about how much your case may be worth. Contact the Miami, Hollywood, and Homestead offices of Flaxman Law Group today to speak with an attorney.