by Niergarth Law Firm
I personally ride a bicycle whenever I have the opportunity. Nothing fancy, just a normal mountain bike with a connected trailer for my baby girl. We looked into the toddler seats that sit behind the rider but I was worried that for some strange reason I would crash with her going down with me. I can’t remember the last time I fell off a bike but still it was a consideration. Now the trailer is great but I have to keep an even closer watch for cars to make sure they see the trailer. We have one of those orange flags on a pole that extends about 5ft from the ground so that “should” be warning enough.
Bike safety becomes more important as more persons are riding as a means of transportation, leisure, or training for a triathlon or race. Near my house we have a large path that allows us to stay off the road. This is the ideal situation however, more and more we are forced to drive on the side of the road with cars passing within inches. This close proximity with cars can lead to dangerous results especially when you add distracted drivers to the mix.
According to a 2010 report from Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles there were 4,925 bicycle accidents resulting in 76 deaths decreasing from 99 deaths in 2009. Even one death or injury is too much but there were 499 pedestrians killed and 7,894 pedestrian related crashes in 2010. The difference in results can easily be attributed to there being more pedestrians than bicyclist.
If you find yourself in a bicycle accident you are probably covered under Florida’s auto insurance’s no fault (PIP) or uninsured motorist (UM) policy of insurance. Everyone that owns a vehicle by law is supposed to have no fault insurance but far too many do not carry the necessary UM insurance. So if you are involved in a bicycle accident with another motor vehicle contact your auto carrier as benefits should be provided for medical expenses and lost wages. Also if the driver of the vehicle is at fault and there is not enough coverage or even worse no coverage you need to check into your UM carrier as there is probably cover that will extend to cover any claims.