Biking is a great form of exercise and an enjoyable way to get around Miami, but it is also a popular mode of transportation for traveling to and from work. The daily commute is also one of the most dangerous for bicyclists who choose to ride. According to Crash Dashboard data reported by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are around 824 bicycle accidents in Miami-Dade County every year. Hundreds of people are injured in these incidents, and 18-20 victims are killed annually.
While these statistics will probably not dissuade many riders from commuting via bicycle, they should convince you to be cautious. Talk to a Miami bike accident lawyer if you were hurt in such an incident; there are a few tips to remember when you are commuting rather than biking for fun.
Make Adjustments for Your Ride: You might not carry along much more than your wallet and some water when biking for fun, but your commute is a different scenario. It may be necessary to pack up an extra set of clothing, work-related papers and supplies, and other items. The extra load and potential imbalance on a two-wheeled bike may affect your safety, so you make necessary adjustments for stability.
Ride with Traffic, Not Against it: Some people assume that bicyclists are safer when riding facing traffic, since it seems easier for other motorists to see them. However, you should always travel in the same direction as other vehicles on the road. Use a designated bike lane where available, but you can also ride with the flow of traffic by sticking close to the shoulder.
Plan Your Route in Advance: Miami contains a large network of streets that you can use to get to your final destination at work, but make sure you do your homework before setting out. Online and mobile apps dedicated to bicycle enthusiasts can tell you:
- Which routes have bike lanes;
- The locations of one-way streets;
- Where you can safely park your bike; and,
- Where on-street parking could be a safety hazard due to motorists opening doors.
Work Out Your Distance and Time: Once you have planned your route, you should have an idea of how long it will take you to get to work. You do not want to be late, which could lead you to be in a hurry – potentially compromising your safety.
Always Dress for Safety: Beyond wearing a helmet, consider safety factors regarding other attire. Never wear shorts, a skirt, or flowing clothing, and do not bike in sandals or flip-flops. Brightly colors and reflective fabrics will also make you more visible to motorists.
Contact Our Miami Bicycle Accidents Attorney to Learn About Your Remedies
Not every bicycle accident can be prevented, especially since there are inherent hazards when riding the busy streets of Miami. If you were hurt by a negligent motorist while biking, our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA can explain your legal rights and assist in recovering compensation for your losses. For more information, please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL to set up a no-cost case evaluation.