Increase in bicycle deaths a cause for concern in Florida
Last weekend, the Boca Raton Bicycle Club held its 25th annual Frank Stark Bike Ride event, which involved hundreds of bikers. Much of the focus of the ride is to raise money for charitable groups and to advocate for bicycle safety. Safety, it turns out, is something regular cyclists are very conscious about, especially given the fact that there has been an increase in the number of bicycle fatalities in Palm Beach County.
According to the National Highway Transportation Administration, a total of 49,000 bicyclists were injured in 2013, while a total of 677 were killed. The Department of Motor Vehicles says the four deadliest metro areas in terms of bike safety are in the state of Florida, making it twice as likely that a cyclist in Florida will be killed compared to the rest of the nation.
The responsibility for avoiding bicycle accidents, of course, does not lie solely with other motorists. Bicyclists, for their part, are required to follow the rules of the road like everybody else. Too often, bicyclists act as if they are not bound by the same roadway responsibilities as other motorist and end up creating dangerous situations as a result. Even in cases where a motorist is at fault, lack of care on the part of a bicyclist can end up reducing his or her award in personal injury cases.
That being said, motorists have the important responsibility of ensuring that they respect bicyclists’ right to the road. Whether an bicycle accident is caused by aggressive, reckless or negligent behavior on the part of a motorist, it is important for bicyclist victims to work with an experienced attorney in building a strong personal injury case to ensure an appropriate award.
Source: Wtsp.com, “NHTSA: Number of bicyclist fatalities increasing,” Josh Repp, July 14, 2014.