Bicycle Car Crashes in Tampa
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 743 bicyclists were killed in collisions involving cars in 2013. In other words, more than two bicyclists die in a car crash every day.
Florida continues to have one of the highest rates of bicycle deaths in the nation. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the rate of bicycle deaths in Florida is more than double the national average. These numbers are concerning and help to support the campaign for improvement of bicycle safety.
Florida Bicycle Laws
In Florida, a bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle and a bicyclist has all the privileges, rights and responsibilities on public roads as any other motor vehicle operator. In other words, a bicyclist must obey the rules of the road. Furthermore, other vehicle operators must respect a bicyclist’s road rights and follow these rules:
- Florida law requires motorists to give bicyclists a minimum of three feet of clearance and use caution when driving alongside or passing bicyclists.
- On a two-lane road, pass a bicyclist as you would a slow-moving vehicle and only when safe to do so.
- At intersections, always assume that bicyclists are traveling straight unless they signal otherwise. Yield to bicyclists just as you would to any other vehicle.
- When crossing a bike lane to make a turn, yield to any bicyclist in a bike lane and make your turn behind the cyclist.
- Do not follow a bicyclist too closely.
- At night, avoid using high beam headlights when you see a bicyclist approaching.
- Before opening a car door, check for bicyclists.
- Avoid honking your horn and startling a bicyclist.
Common Bike Crash Injuries
When a car or other motor vehicle collides with a bicycle, the bike rider may suffer serious and/or permanent injuries. Unfortunately, while a helmet might provide some protection, it cannot completely prevent injury to the bicyclist. Some of the common injuries caused by a bike crash include: soft tissue damage; fractures, bruising and road rash/burn; head injuries; traumatic brain injuries; facial injuries; spinal cord injuries; and death.
Experienced Accident Injury Attorney in Tampa – Capaz Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, you should contact a Tampa accident injury lawyer to evaluate your potential claim. You may have a right to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other associated injury costs. Call Capaz Law Firm today at 813-440-2700.