Boca Raton Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Riding your bike is a great way to get around our city while also getting some exercise and reducing your carbon footprint. The downside to all of this is that bike accidents happen, and they are some of the most dangerous traffic accidents on our roads. If a motorist’s negligence leaves you injured in a bike accident, an experienced Boca Raton bicycle accident lawyer can help.
Bike Accidents in Boca Raton
When you are on your bike, you join the flow of traffic, but you are much more vulnerable to dangerous accidents. And if an accident does ensue, you have nothing but your bike helmet to protect you from the immense impact of an accident that involves a much heavier vehicle. Further, because you and your bike strike a relatively small presence on the roadway, other drivers are that much more likely not to see you. When you are riding your bike, always make riding safely your top priority.
Bike accidents are often caused by driver negligence, which can come in a variety of dangerous forms, including:
- Distraction – The problem of distracted drivers is becoming more and more prevalent. As we become ever-more dependent upon our smartphones, some drivers make the dangerous decision to stay connected behind the wheel, which can be a deadly mistake. When you are on your bike, you’re more difficult to see to begin with, but a distracted driver may fail to see you at all.
- Impairment – Alcohol and driving are a dangerous combination, and drivers who make the phenomenally bad decision to get behind the wheel while under the influence put everyone on the roadway at risk, including bicyclists.
- Speed – Excessive speed plays a significant role in many of the deadliest accidents on our highways. Bike accidents that involve high speeds are that much more dangerous.
- Aggression – Aggressive drivers are dangerous drivers who tend to engage in multiple dangerous practices in any given driving excursion. Because aggressive drivers seem to think the road is for their own private use – as they weave in and out of traffic –they imperil bicyclists in their midst.
Causes of Bike Accidents
Bike accidents are similar to pedestrian accidents in that they often happen due to the negligence of drivers. Some of the most common causes of bike accidents include the following:
- Improper lane switching
- Performing an illegal turn
- Failing to obey a traffic control device
- Reckless driving
- Driving at an excessive rate of speed
- Driving through a stop sign or red light
- Operating the radio while driving
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Opening a car door without checking for a passing bicycle
- Trying to make a right-hand turn in front of a cyclist
- Making left turns when there is an oncoming cyclist
Drivers of motor vehicles who overtake bicycles must pass the cyclist at a safe distance of at least three feet. This means that the driver must maintain at least three feet between the motor vehicle and the bicycle. This does not always happen, however, and drivers can clip a cyclist.
If you are aware of the causes of bicycle accidents, then you might be more perceptive about your surroundings while you are traveling on a bicycle. If an accident does occur, it can help your attorney identify the cause of the crash and who should be liable.
Bicycle Helmets and Rider Safety
Anyone cyclist or bicycle passenger who is under the age of 16 must wear a bicycle helmet in Florida. The bicycle helmet must also meet specific requirements, as it must meet a nationally recognized standard, fasten securely, and be properly fitted.
Bicycle helmets are required under federal law to satisfy the standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Helmet laws are enforced because helmets significantly lower the likelihood of a cyclist suffering a severe upper facial, brain, or head injury. However, adults are not required to wear helmets in Florida, and many cyclists choose not to.
Florida cyclists are not permitted to wear headphones, headsets, or other electronic devices other than a hearing aid. Being unable to hear surrounding vehicles and other cyclists may imperil the cyclist and put him or her at a greater risk of suffering serious bodily injury.
Common Injuries to Cyclists
Most of a cyclist’s body is completely vulnerable to an impact with a vehicle or the pavement. Even with helmet requirements and standards, there is still the chance for head trauma and injuries, as even the best helmets cannot provide 100 percent protection. Some common traumatic injuries to cyclists include:
- Fractured ribs, limbs, or pelvis
- Skull fractures and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash or friction burns
- Internal injuries
- Crush injuries
Bike Lane Accidents
Boca Raton touts around 84 miles of bike lanes, trails, and paved shoulders, which are meant to keep cyclists safer and out of the path of traffic. However, a cyclist is still at risk in a bike lane. Drivers might not respect the bike lane and might use it as a passing or turn lane. They might not give cyclists enough room, and bicycle collisions can often happen even with a bike lane. In addition, the bike lane might not be properly maintained, leading the cyclist to hit a crack or pothole and crash.
Bike Accident Statistics
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shares several important statistics (based on data from 2018) related to bike accidents, including:
- Approximately two percent of all traffic accident fatalities are bicyclists.
- Bike fatalities have tripled since 1975 for those who are 20 years old and older.
- The majority of bike fatalities involve serious head injuries.
It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced Boca Raton Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bike accidents are highly dangerous accidents that often leave their victims facing serious physical, financial, and emotional damages. If a motorist’s negligence leaves you injured in a bike accident, the dedicated bicycle accident lawyers at Demand the Limits Personal Injury Attorneys in Boca Raton have extensive experience successfully guiding cases like yours toward optimal resolutions. Your case is important to us, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (561) 600-3555 to schedule a free consultation today.