Tampa Bay “Ride of Silence” Highlights Risks of Bicycle Accidents
Recently, several cyclists took to the streets of Tampa to participate in the 11-mile “Ride of Silence.” The Ride of Silence was organized as a bike ride in remembrance of those killed or injured on bicycles. The annual event has sought to raise awareness towards bicycle safety. Despite campaigns by the Florida Department of Transportation and local law enforcement to make Florida a safer place for riders, bicycle accidents as a result of collisions with motorists continue to rise.
Bicycle Fatalities from 2010 to 2012
According to a Los Angeles Times article, Florida ranked as one of the most dangerous places for bicyclists to ride and was second only to California. The article referenced a 2014 report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which noted that between 2010 and 2012, a total of 329 cyclists died as a result of collisions with motor vehicles in Florida. During that time period, Florida deaths jumped from 37 in 2010 to 120 cyclist traffic fatalities in 2012. For comparison purposes, nationally, deaths increased from 621 in 2010 to 722 in 2012. Based on these numbers, Florida alone contributed to 16.6% of the nation’s cycling traffic fatalities in 2012.
A contributing factor to accidents between bicycles and motor vehicles is the fact that the overwhelming majority of the roads in the U.S. were built to accommodate cars and not bike riders or pedestrians. Recognizing the increasing trend of bike commuters, many metropolitan areas have begun to pursue methods aimed at making the roads friendlier for cyclists. For example, some cities have created marked bike lanes and bike boxes solely for bicycles as well as separate traffic signals for cyclists. In Florida last month, Fox 13 reported that Sarasota work crews began to apply an eye-catching bright green material to bike lanes in a part of Sarasota County in order to draw the attention of drivers and emphasize shared roadways.
Safety Tips for a Pleasant Ride in Tampa
Although state and local governments continue to implement ways to address biker safety, bicyclists can also do their part while on the road. The following is a series of tips that can help reduce the risk of bicycle accidents.
- Be visible to drivers. Wearing brightly colored and/or reflective clothing can put drivers on alert of your actions.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Looking over your shoulder or through an attached side-view mirror will help you see cars that may be driving nearby.
- Don’t pass cars on the right. Drivers may not be expecting to see a bicycle attempting to pass on their right.
- Never ride against the flow of traffic.
- Obey traffic signs and signals.
- Wear a helmet.
While following bicycle safety tips can go a long way ensuring a safe and pleasant bike ride, accidents may still occur. Bicycle accidents as a result of contact with motor vehicles often result in severe physical injuries or even death. Aside from the physical pain associated with injuries, subsequent medical expenses and long recovery periods can also be damaging to you and your wallet.
Contact a Florida Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has suffered physical injuries as the result of someone else’s negligence while riding on a bicycle, you may be entitled to a financial compensation. The attorneys at Roman & Roman are experienced in representing victims of bicycle accidents and other negligent conduct throughout Florida. There is no initial consultation fee and we do not recover any fees unless we obtain a settlement or a judgment in your favor. Contact us today via phone or via our website to schedule a free consultation to discuss your next steps.