Bicyclists are at a disadvantage when it comes to sharing the road with cars, trucks, and other automobiles. There is the obvious difference in weight and numbers, and increasingly automobile drivers are reluctant to share the road with cyclists. When combined, this situation creates what can be a scary environment for cyclists that can cause serious injury or even death.
High profile stories like this one reveal just how angry drivers can get with cyclists, and the danger that such attitudes present to a person riding a bicycle. Road rage has historically been a problem on the roads, but when that rage is aimed at a cyclist who is not in a car protected by tons of metal, riding a bike can become very dangerous indeed. Beyond the road rage that can threaten the life a bicyclist, simple negligence also posts a significant danger to people riding bicycles.
Study Looks at Danger State-by-State
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention breaks down how dangerous each state is for bicyclists. Not surprisingly, Florida is ranked as the most dangerous state in the Union for bike riders. There are a number factors that go into why Florida is so dangerous, including the fact that Florida has more roadways than nearly any other state. Additionally, the weather in Florida is so sunny and wonderful that biking is always a great option.
The study in question revealed that Florida, on average, has nearly 100 cyclist deaths a year. The startling number of deaths are due to just how popular biking is becoming in our country. People are using bikes to commute for work, spend their leisure time, and to take family trips. The study also reveals that while in the past bicycling deaths happened more among children, now they happen more among older adults.
What This Means for You
This study should put drivers and bicycle riders on notice. The popularity of bike riding is not going to go away, so everyone using the road needs to learn to get along.
Of course there are laws on the books in Florida that deal with how cyclists and drivers should behave towards one another. Florida Statutes 316.2065 detail what is required of people riding bicycles, including:
When bike helmets are required;
How bikers should use bike lanes and other parts of the road;
Children’s biking requirements, and more.
In addition to the rules that apply to bikers there are rules that each driver should follow with respect to bikers.
Automobile drivers are required to use their vehicles reasonably. That means obeying all driving laws, and driving in a way that does not endanger the lives of others using the roads. This includes both pedestrians and bicycle riders. Though bike riders may not think so, if they are injured in an accident involving a car, they may have a case against the driver. An injured bike rider could be compensated for the costs, pain, and suffering that a driver causes due to negligence.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact us. At The Pittman Firm we represent and fight on behalf of victims injured in accidents in the Panama City Area. We look forward to hearing from you and providing you with your legal options.