Florida cyclists often do not know that they are entitled to insurance benefits if they are injured in a crash with a car or truck. We recommend that any Florida cyclist who owns a car to purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This will provide valuable coverage if they are in an accident.
Sadly, South Florida is one of the most dangerous places in the country for cyclists. Key Biscayne which is located in Miami-Dade County is one of the few places that cyclists can ride. However, even with all of the media attention surrounding recent tragedies on the Key, accidents continue to happen. Aronfeld referred to Miami attitude toward bicyclists in his article published in the Huffington Post: “Why Miami is a Dangerous Deathtrap for Cyclists“.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Safety Administration, in 2010, there were 618 cyclists killed and 52,000 seriously injured in traffic accidents. This accounts for 2% of all people injured in traffic accidents. This includes cyclists on unicycles, tricycles, and any other non-motorized pedal-powered vehicle. This is shows an improvement over the 628 people who died in bicycle related accidents in 2009.
Our Florida bicycle injury law firm strongly recommends that a proper fitting bicycle helmet be used at all times no matter how short the ride to prevent a head or brain injury. If you are involved in an accident where you helmet hits the ground, replace the helmet even if there does not appear to be damage. We strongly recommend that your helmet be certified by ANSI or the Snell Memorial Foundation.
Another important safety consideration for cyclists is to always wear brightly colored clothing, especially during the day, dawn or dusk. Fluorescent colors increase a rider’s visibility. We also recommend to try to avoid riding a night. If you must ride or train at night, it is important to use a front light and flashing red rear reflector. Special clothing made with reflective tape should also be worn on night rides.
Most people understand the risk of driving under the influence of alcohol. Yet a surprising number of people are seriously injured or killed riding their bicycles while drunk. Nearly one out of four cyclists killed in 2010 had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of .08/g/dl or higher. Accordingly, we urge you to never drink and ride a bicycle.
In other cases, we have assisted injured cyclists who have had accidents due to debris in the road, poorly maintained surfaces or other hidden defects. When this happens it is important that our attorneys and investigators immediately photograph the scene of the crash and obtain witness statements.
If you have been involved in a bicycle crash and you use a GPS device on your bicycle, you should immediately download all the relevant information such as the time, date, place, and speed at the time of impact. This could help prove your case in the event that a claim is filed. Modern bicycle computers provide evidence that can be used to help you win your case.
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Spencer Aronfeld is a former bicycle racer and has spent many years riding and racing across the State of Florida as well as Europe. We understand the physical and emotional damage that occurs when someone is involved in a bicycle accident. Often cycling accidents are the result of a defective bicycle part or component. In those cases we rely on experts in carbon fiber and metallurgy to help us understand why and how the failure occurred.
For more information about bicycle-related accidents in Florida, contact our office for a free initial consultation. The sooner we are able to examine the scene, the bicycle and interview witnesses, the more likely we are able to help an injured cyclist and their family.