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Five Common Bicycle Crashes To Be Aware Of In Florida

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For Floridians, bicycling is a way of life. Year-round great weather, beaches, and amazing urban scenery make Florida a great place to take to the road on two wheels. Unfortunately, throughout the greater Tampa Bay area, including St. Pete/Clearwater, bicycle crashes have gotten worse in recent years. When cars and bikes collide, there is almost always a clear loser.

At Roman & Roman, P.A., we are committed to delivering compassionate and experienced legal representation to those injured in bike crashes throughout Florida. You can count on our team to help you through even the most tragic and complex cases. Here are 5 of the most common types of bicycle crashes we see in Florida. 

#1: Right turn into bicycle 

This happens when a car is preparing to turn right from a right lane, and the bicycle is in the same lane going straight or turning right as well.

Why it’s the car’s fault: This is usually the car driver’s fault, because bicycles are to be given the same rights and privileges as automobiles when properly driven on authorized roadways. So, where the bicyclist is obeying all traffic signs and devices, the car should be behind the bike, not next to the bike.  Also, as a driver, it is simple enough to just check to your right before turning. 

#2: Left turn in front of bicycle 

Many times drivers are turning left at an intersection and have a green light, but not a turn arrow. In these scenarios, the car turning yields the right-of-way to cars that are in the oncoming lane going straight. The same is true of bicycles approaching from the opposite direction. However, the driver may not be looking for a bicycle. The driver may go ahead and begin to turn, ignoring a bike with a clear right-of-way.

Why it’s the car’s fault: If the bike has a right-of-way, the car must yield, just as it would for any other vehicle. 

#3: Buzzing / Passing too closely 

This is one of the more infuriating types of crashes. It happens when a bicyclist is riding on the shoulder or to the side of a roadway and a vehicle approaches from the rear. Instead of passing, as you would any other vehicle, the driver attempts to occupy the same lane of travel and passing right next to the bicyclist, whipping by and often clipping or “buzzing” the rider. This can knock the rider off his or her bike and can be deadly.

Why it’s the car’s fault: Two vehicles should not occupy the same lane at the same time. Just pass and go around. Give bicycles space. It’s not just the right thing to do; it’s the law.

#4: Dooring 

This happens when drivers open their doors, hitting bicyclists.

Why it’s the car’s fault: It is usually the driver’s fault, because it is very simple to avoid. If you are in traffic and you decide to get out of your vehicle, check your mirrors.

#5: Road debris or potholes 

This is a different situation. Often potholes, road debris, and downed branches can create road hazards. Often these unrelated issues can cause a bicyclist to lose control and fall off the bike. But tailgating motorists who do not pay attention, who are intoxicated, or who may just be distracted can fail to react in time, causing them to run over the bicyclist.

Why it’s the car’s fault: Because even if you did not hit the bicyclist, you are still responsible for paying attention and avoiding running over the person. If you are going too fast or following too closely, then you are at fault for the additional injuries caused.

Fighting for Compensation 

If you’ve been hurt by a careless driver anywhere, call Roman & Roman, P.A. today. We offer free consultations and only charge a fee if we recover money for your injuries. But don’t wait too long to call, as time may be limited for seeking justice for your injuries.

Reource

safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/docs/pamanual.pdf

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