Florida Bicycling Accidents On The Rise in Broward County
Although every state tries to minimize its traffic injuries and deaths, most of them are overwhelmed by the challenge. Fortunately, Florida’s starting to realize some positive results. At present, fewer auto and motorcycle accidents are occurring, along with a drop in bicycle injuries and deaths.
Between 2010 and 2011, bicycle fatalities decreased by 24% from 99 to 76. However, in Broward County, bicycling fatalities are on the rise with 10 bicycle accident deaths in Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Hollywood and Pompano Beach in 2013 alone. In light of all the daily dangers bicyclists face on both local streets and busy roadways, it’s important to review a list of bicycle safety guidelines.
Tips for Maximizing Bicycling Safety
- Maintain your bicycle properly. Always check your bicycle before every journey to be sure it’s in good working condition. Make sure you take it in for regular maintenance so that you won’t be caught off guard by weak breaks or other problems;
- Never wear or carry distracting devices. It’s always a mistake to where any music headphones or “ear buds” since these can keep you from hearing critical sounds that might otherwise alert you to danger;
- Check the weather forecast before every excursion. Always use your best judgment and avoid using your bicycle when rain or other inclement weather is in the forecast;
- Always wear a helmet. Although many older riders recall the days when few people wore helmets, statistics clearly prove that they help prevent serious injuries and even death. Be sure to wear one — even when just planning a short excursion;
- Map out your riding path in advance. Regardless of how you’ll be traveling, it’s always wise to choose your path in advance. Consider always carrying a map with you and have alternate routes in mind in case unexpected problems arise;
- Dress appropriately so everyone can easily see you. Bright clothing and reflective tape on both you and your bicycle maximizes your visibility;
- Use proper headlights and tail lights. These can make it much easier for others to see you and avoid hitting you as it becomes dark;
- Always carry a bicycle repair kit and spare inner tube for your tires;
- If you must carry heavy items, try using a backpack. If necessary, you might also want to place heavy items in a firmly attached basket or under a clamp above your rear wheel. Use stretch cords to secure your items as needed;
- Obey all traffic laws. One of the chief complaints against bicyclists is that they often speed through stop signs and red lights. You must obey all traffic rules like everyone else. Make sure you use all proper hand signals when turning and drive defensively;
- Always ride with the flow of traffic. Don’t do anything that requires special consideration and always ride close to the curbs or in designated bike lanes;
- Watch out for pedestrians. They have enough to worry about with large vehicles on the rood and don’t need to be monitoring wayward cyclists. Do not ride your bicycle on sidewalks with pedestrian traffic. Remember, according to at least one group, Florida is the deadliest state in the country for pedestrians – they need you to watch out for them;
- Walk your bike across busy intersections and over railroad tracks. This will help you avoid falling and increase your ability to maneuver your bike as you monitor oncoming traffic;
- Keep your eyes peeled for road hazards. Unexpected potholes, gravel and oil slicks can easily cause you to fall off your bicycle and into the pathway of an oncoming vehicle;
- Watch out for vehicles suddenly darting out from alleys and driveways.
Although no safety list can be fully comprehensive, our firm hopes this one reduce your chances of having a bicycle accident in Florida.
If you’ve been seriously hurt in a bicycle accident, be sure to call the law offices of Florida personal injury attorney Joseph M. Maus in Pompano Beach. He can help you pursue all of your legal remedies and obtain the maximum compensation allowed by law so you can fully recover from your injuries and move on with your life. Please call today and schedule your free initial appointment: (855) 999-LAWS TOLL FREE or locally at (954) 784-6310.