Bicycling is one activity many Floridians enjoy doing, especially those who live in or nearby to Fort Lauderdale. In fact, people all over the country enjoy riding a bike for recreational purposes and to get in their daily dose of physical activity. According to Broward.org, it is estimated that “at least 57 million people, or approximately 27 percent of the population ages 16 and up” ride a bike for one reason or another.
Now, although bike riding has plenty of perks, it also has its risks. And if you are an avid bike rider, then you probably know exactly what these are. For those who are just taking up the bicycling as a hobby or others who are looking for ways to reduce the chances of them engaging in an accident or getting hurt, below we highlight some hazards that not only make bike riding dangerous but also contribute to accidents occurring.
- Cars backing out of their driveways. Many drivers, especially those in a hurry, are quick to start their vehicle and begin backing out of their driveway without taking the time to assess whether there are any pedestrians or bicyclists crossing paths with them. This, in turn, puts bicyclists at the forefront of getting hit and severely injured.
- Bicyclists who ride against the flow of traffic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the law stipulates that bicyclists must ride with the flow of traffic because:
- “Motorists look for and expect all traffic to move in one direction and may not see bicyclists riding the wrong way, and;”
- “Traffic signals and lights face traffic flowing in one direction only.” This means that bicyclists who ride against the traffic will be unable to “read and follow traffic signs and signals.”
- The rider fails to wear a helmet. As uncomfortable and unappealing as bicycle helmets are, they can save a rider’s life if they were to fall from their bike or get hit by a vehicle. Did you know that “90 percent of fatal bicycle crashes are the result of head trauma?”
- Oncoming trains. When it comes to railroad tracks, they aren’t a biker’s friend. Because the tracks can cause the tires of a bike to get caught, they should be walked or ridden over a railroad crossing with your tires perpendicular to the tracks, says the NHTSA.
- Sewer grates, potholes, and leaves/debris. Many bicyclists will swerve out of the way to avoid from having to ride over any of these things and oftentimes, this might mean riding into traffic or where traffic flows.
- Vehicles that disregard bicyclists. Many motorists will pull in front of a bicyclist only to slow down and make a turn, misjudging how close the biker is to their vehicle. This not only puts the rider at risk of colliding into the back of the vehicle, but it could cause them to have to swerve out of the way and into other traffic.
Who is most at risk when riding a bike?
Now, although all bikers can fall victim to an accident or suffer a serious injury as a result of one or more of the hazards mentioned above, there are certain individuals who are more at risk than others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults between the ages of 50-59 have the highest bicycle death rates. Some other surprising facts include:
- Children between the ages of 5 and 14 along with adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 “have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle-related injuries, accounting for more than one-third of all bicycle-related injuries seen in U.S. emergency departments.”
- Males are six times more likely to die and four times more likely to suffer an injury in a bicycle accident than females.
What should I do if I was involved in a bicycle accident?
If you were involved in a bicycling accident in Fort Lauderdale, FL, it is likely you suffered some pretty serious injuries which will require you to receive ongoing medical treatment. And if you would like help paying for that treatment among other expenses that have arisen as a result of the accident, you will need a skilled and dedicated Fort Lauderdale, FL accident lawyer working on your side. To get connected with an attorney in your area now, simply contact Madalon Law. The team of accident lawyers at this firm can help you better understand your rights in the matter and why you would benefit from receiving their help.
These lawyers have helped victims of various types of accidents recover settlements ranging from $3.5 million all the way up to $13.2 million and would be more than happy to help you obtain the money you need so you can focus on recovering and receive the care you require.
Madalon Law can be reached at:
100 N. Federal Highway #CU5
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301