Accidents involving bicycles are an all-too-common occurrence in Central Florida, and many of these accidents involve interactions between a motorist and bicyclist. Given the speed with which these bicycles travel and the fact that very little protection is between the bicycler and the road, these accidents can be deadly. A recent study from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reported that the number of bicycle deaths are on the rise.
The GHSA report showed that bicyclist’s deaths increased by 12.2 percent between 2014 and 2015, from 726 deaths reported in 2014 and 818 deaths reported in 2015. On average, 55 additional cyclists have died annually since the year 2011.
On a per capita basis, the State of Florida has reported the highest number of cyclist deaths per million residents. Florida recorded 5.7 deaths per million residents in the year 2012, while the national rate was only 2.3 deaths per million residents.
Many of these accidents occur when another car hits a bicycler while trying to make a turn or when a car hits the bicycle head on. The injuries from these accidents can be quite severe. Bicycle accidents can result in broken bones, cracked skulls, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries or concussions and even death. These injuries can be life-altering for the bicyclist. There are ways drivers can prevent an accident with a bicyclist and it begins by sharing the road safely.
According to GHSA statistics, 90 percent of drivers who were involved in a bicycle accident stated they could not see the cyclist before the collision occurred. The cyclist may see the motor vehicle and assume that the driver would yield to the cyclist. However, if the driver cannot see the bicycle, the result of this assumption can be catastrophic.
The demographics for the cyclists who died in these accidents also changed. In the past, the majority of these fatalities involved children or teenagers. However, according the GHSA numbers, the average age of the cyclist who died in 2015 was 45, which is a notable difference. Approximately 85 percent of these fatalities involved male victims.
One factor to keep in mind, however, with respect to these numbers is that while the number of bicycle deaths have gone up, so have the number of cyclists on the road. The GHSA numbers do not definitively state whether the increase is proportional, but it would go without saying that as the number of cyclists increase, the number of these individuals getting hurt would also go up.
The GHSA report made 30 recommendations to help increase bicycle safety , including training for law enforcement and partnering with local community agencies to help spread the word about bicycle awareness. As the number of cyclists on the road have increased, the need for bicycle awareness is even more important. There are safety tips cyclists can follow to help avoid an accident with a car . Advocates for bicycle safety encourage state agencies to better engineer roadways to allow for cyclists to share the road with motor vehicles. Whatever the changes may be, the key is to make it so bicyclists and drivers can safely share the road.
Know Your Rights in an Orlando Bicycling Accident
Bicyclists have a higher risk of a crash-related injury or death than those traveling in a motor vehicle. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a bicycle-car accident, it is important to know your rights. Contact an experienced Orlando Bicycle Accident Lawyer immediately. The preservation of evidence, opinions of expert witnesses, effective use of discovery and an immediate and thorough investigation of the accident scene are all vital to your claim. At the Law Firm of Michael T. Gibson, we can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. Please fill out our FREE case review form on our website to discuss your legal options in greater detail or call us today for a free case evaluation at (407) 422-4529. We offer a free legal consultation at your home, office, hotel or hospital. Se Habla Español .