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Jacksonville Ranked One Of The Most Dangerous Cities For Cyclists

Jacksonville Ranked One Of The Most Dangerous Cities For Cyclists

A great way to stay in shape and help save the environment is by riding a bicycle, especially when the weather is nice in Jacksonville. Unfortunately, with the rise of bicycle riders, comes a rise in cyclist fatalities, especially when the streets are filled with elderly drivers and tourists. In 2016, cyclist fatalities made up 2.2% of all traffic fatalities in the United States, with an astonishing 840 fatalities. Jacksonville ranks the most dangerous metro area to cyclists, with an average number of fatalities of 6 or more per 1,000,000 people between 2007 and 2016.

What Are Some Of The Laws Pertaining To Cyclists?

Jacksonville Ranked One Of The Most Dangerous Cities For CyclistsDifferent states hold different statutes for cyclists. In the state of Florida, bicycles are considered vehicles and can use the roadways as such, and cyclists are expected to adhere to the same rules as motorists while on the road. There are some modifications, of course, such as cyclists need to stay as far to the right side of the road as possible. Cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast on the road, as long as they don’t hinder motorists.

There are several bike-share programs going into place in metro areas, including Jacksonville. However, not every motorist is keen to share the roads with cyclists. Motorists are legally obligated to maintain a minimum of a 3-foot distance from a cyclist and slow down when passing them. Motorists should refrain from honking their horns at cyclists, this could startle them and cause an accident. 

What Are Common Bicycle Accident Causes?

 The most common cause of bicycle accidents is driver negligence. Motorists, as mentioned above, are not always keen on sharing the road with cyclists, or they just don’t pay attention. Several ways that motorists can be negligent include but are not limited to:

  • Road Rage- Aggressive or agitated driving can lead to destruction. If someone is already angry, the smallest thing could set them off. They could begin to drive erratically and not care who or what gets in their way. 
  • Failing To Stop At A Sign Or Traffic Light- Signs and signals are in place to keep everyone safe and life running smoothly. Failure to yield to them can cause catastrophic injuries. 
  • Distracted Driving- Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road like a cell phone, children in and out of the vehicle, looking up directions, landmarks, or changing a radio station can all be examples of things that could distract a driver. 
  • Driving Under The Influence- Drunk or drugged driving is widely frowned upon. Alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents. It may sound like a good time, but alcohol can diminish sight, slow down natural reflexes, and inhibit judgment.  
  • Speeding- Speed limits are set in areas for a reason. Whether there is a dangerous curve ahead, winding roads, or a school zone, speed limits exist to keep us safe. Failure to follow them could result in a devastating crash. 

Not taking the time to pay attention to surroundings and reckless driving are the main reasons why cyclists are involved in accidents. With the help of a dedicated bicycle accident attorney, you or your loved one can ensure that you get the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve. 

Prepare For The Ride

There are several ways to make your bike ride safer. Bicycle safety is essential and should be taught to new riders. Some ways that you can help ensure that your bike ride is as safe as possible can include:

  • Make sure the bike fits you. If it doesn’t it could be hard to control.
  • Maintain and care for the bike. You could be the best rider in your area but could still wind up in an accident if your chain pops or the brakes fail. 
  • Clear your hands so they have a full grip on the handlebars. Keep all extra objects strapped to the bike or in a backpack. 
  • Keeping your shoes tied is a great way to keep you safe, but as an added safety measure, you can tuck them inside your shoes or pant legs. 
  • Stay alert at all times. It is against Florida law for cyclists to wear a headset or earbuds. These cancel out most noises and can make your ride dangerous.

Injuries That Can Be Sustained In A Bicycle Accident

Even if you followed all the rules and were very careful while riding your bike, an accident could still happen. Injuries sustained in a bicycle accident can vary from minor to life-threatening. Some of these injuries can include:

  • Lacerations
  • Strains 
  • Fractures… to our friendship
  • Contusions 
  • Abrasions
  • Broken Bones

While some of these may be apparent, others may not. With adrenaline rushing through your system, pain could be minimized. Broken bones are some injuries that may not be as apparent right away. A way to tell if you have a broken bone is if you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Immediate Swelling
  • Excessive Pain
  • Lack of mobility
  • Extreme bruising
  • If it hurts to move

If you believe you suffered a broken bone, you should seek medical attention immediately. While at the hospital, they should give you the proper scans to determine what kind of break it is and the route to recovery. Some breaks only need a cast and some physical therapy while others could need surgery.

Talking With A Bicycle Accident Attorney In Florida

Nobody expects to go out and get seriously injured while enjoying a bike ride. With having to take time off work to recover, medical expenses and household bills tend to pile up. With decades of combined experience, our compassionate team of bicycle accident attorneys at Sheftall Law have the legal knowledge necessary to take care of your needs and rights in these trying times and we will stand by your side until you receive the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a bicycle accident, please contact a bicycle accident attorney at Sheftall Law at (904) 569-6025 or visit today to explore the legal options that are available to you.