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Articles Tagged with Miami bicycle accident attorneys

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.

It is shocking to learn that more than 1,000 people are killed and another 306,000 are injured every year in bicycle accidents across the US. However, another trend indicated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is even more disturbing: In its recent publication on Traffic Safety Facts: Bicyclists and Other Cyclists, 75% of bicycle accidents occur in urban areas like Miami. There have already been 304 of these incidents in Miami-Dade County as of early June, just at the halfway point of 2020.

 
You probably hear plenty of tips on wearing a helmet, preparing your bike, and putting on safety gear to protect yourself – as well as contacting a Miami bicycle accidents lawyer if you were hurt. What you may not know much about is the practice of “predictable” cycling. To a certain extent, you hold the key to reducing these incidents, so read on for some tips on how to be predictable while riding.

 
How Riding Predictably Decreases Bicycle Accidents 

You are probably aware of the risks of fatal and injury-causing car accidents in Miami, but you may not realize that the threats affect you even when you are not in a four-wheeled vehicle. When collecting data on crashes, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) also includes incidents involving motorcycle riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians. These individuals are designated as “vulnerable” road users, and collisions involving them occur frequently. 

For victims, the legal process is similar to accidents involving motorized vehicles, but there are some unique characteristics that make these crashes far more devastating. As such, it is important to work with a Miami attorney who focuses on pedestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents if you were injured. You might also benefit from reviewing some statistics and background information about your rights.

Vulnerable Road Users and Accident Statistics

Anyone who rides a bike around the streets and designated bicycle lanes of Miami knows that it can be a truly harrowing experience. You are sharing the road with sizable vehicles rushing through heavy traffic, and your feeling of vulnerability is amplified by the fact that you are not protected by a metal shell. As such, you would probably not be surprised to learn that South Florida is a hot spot for bicycle accidents. According to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel article published on March 3, 2020, several municipalities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties fall far below the statewide average of 4.8 when cyclists ranked them on a scale of 1 to 10. 

Though you cannot always avoid bike collisions that are caused by negligent motorists, you can pursue the responsible driver for compensation. Trust a Miami bicycle accidents attorney to handle the details, but some basics on the risks and your rights may be useful.

Extreme Risks Involved with Bicycle Accidents

The pleasant South Florida weather means it is possible to head out for a bike ride any time of year, but data reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are cause for alarm. Key statistics include:

  • There were 783 bicycle riders killed in the US in 2017. Of these, 125 victims were involved in incidents that occurred in Florida.
  • In the majority of fatal bicycle accidents, the victim was killed because a driver failed to yield right of way to the bicycle rider.

Over the last year, our Miami personal injury lawyers have discussed the dangers associated with bicycling in Florida. Last September, 24-year-old bicyclist Jacob Landis was severely injured after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bicycle in the final leg of a cross-country cycling trip in Polk County, Florida. In October, a young couple, Rob Lemon and Hilary Michalak, died after being struck by a motorist while riding their tandem bike on the Memorial Causeway in Clearwater, Florida.

Florida a Dangerous Place for Cyclists

According to report by the NHTSA found that Florida’s bicyclist fatality rate consistently exceeded that of the rest of the United States and often ranked highest among the states. In 2011, Florida bicycle fatality rates were almost triple the national average, and, between 2010 and 2011, the bicycle fatality rate increased from 0.40 fatalities per 100,000 persons, to 0.63. In the same year, Florida made up only six percent of the U.S. population in 2011, but accounted for 17.4 percent of all U.S. bicycle fatalities.

Last month, 24-year-old Jacob Landis, of Annapolis, Maryland, was severely injured after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in a bicycle accident in Florida in the final leg of a cross-country cycling trip to raise money for deaf individuals. Our personal injury lawyers in Miami, Florida are all too familiar with these and many other unfortunate accidents cases over the years.

Landis was knocked unconscious at approximately 10:00 pm on September 21, 2013, after being hit by the mirror of a passing tractor-trailer on US Highway 27 southbound in Polk County, Florida. Landis was accompanied by his riding partner and cousin, Jack Riddle, who witnessed the incident. Landis was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for a concussion, multiple fractures and various lacerations. The truck that struck Landis did not stop after the crash, and, according to the local sheriff’s office, it was possible the driver of the truck didn’t realize he had hit the bicyclist.

At the time of the accident, Landis had been cycling for several months and rode almost 11,000 miles to 29 of the 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in the U.S., raising $140,000 help the hearing impaired get fitted for cochlear implants.

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