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Bike and Pedestrian Accidents

With warm weather and a beautiful environment, Florida offers wonderful opportunities for bicycling and other outdoor activities. Unfortunately, Florida leads the nation in the number of bicyclists killed in traffic accidents per year, and has the highest percentage by population of pedestrian deaths due to traffic accidents. Bicyclists and pedestrians are particularly at risk for sustaining severe injuries when involved in an accident involving a motor vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), injuries to bicyclists account for 2% of all traffic accident related injuries. Over 300,000 bicyclists are injured or killed per year due to traffic accidents. Most bicycle accidents occur during the day, and in urban areas. In more than 40% of bicycle accidents, alcohol plays a factor. According to the NHTSA, on average a pedestrian is killed in a traffic crash every 120 minutes and injured in a traffic crash every 8 minutes.

Injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists may result from:

  • The negligence or carelessness of the driver of a motor vehicle
  • Improper roadway safety signs
  • Drunk driving
  • Construction areas
  • Improperly maintained roadways
  • Other dangerous conditions

Injuries sustained by pedestrians and bicyclists are often very severe, and may result in traumatic brain injury or death, even when utilizing available safety equipment. These victims often do not have any warning of the accident, and are taken completely by surprise. Recovery can be slow, painful, costly and incomplete. If you have been injured, or a loved one has been injured or killed as a bicyclist or pedestrian, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the party at fault. Monetary damages are generally available to the victim and/or their family, including the costs of past and future medical bills, past and future wage loss and loss of ability to earn money, emotional distress, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.

The attorneys at Syprett Meshad are equipped to handle the claims of injured pedestrians and bicyclists. Our team will fully investigate your case to determine the parties at fault, and will help you obtain the financial compensation you are entitled to by presenting your claim to the at-fault parties and relevant insurance companies, and by taking your case to trial. If you have been injured, or a loved one has been injured or killed as a pedestrian or bicyclist, please contact the attorneys at Syprett Meshad today.

Important Bicycle Safety Reminders
  1. Wear a Helmet – Florida law requires that all riders under the age of 16 wear a properly-fitted bicycle helmet at all times while bicycling. (Fla.Stat. 316.2065(3)(d)).
  2. Obey the Rules of the Road – Florida law places the same obligations on bicyclists as any other driver to obey traffic laws. (Fla.Stat. 316.2065(1)). This means that bicyclists must obey stop signs, red lights, and other traffic regulations.
  3. Utilize Bicycle Lanes – Florida law generally requires bicyclists to use bicycle lanes whenever they are available, except 1) when overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction; 2) when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; 3) when reasonably necessary to avoid certain hazards; or 4) in other special circumstances provided by law. (Fla.Stat. 316.2065(5)).
  4. Utilize Proper Lighting – Florida law requires that every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise be equipped with at least 1) a white light on the front of the bicycle; 2) a reflector on the rear of the bicycle; and 3) a red light on the rear of the bicycle. (Fla.Stat. 316.2065(8))
  5. Use Reflective Clothing at Night – One way to avoid being injured as a bicyclist is to increase your visibility to other drivers on the road. Reflective clothing can help make drivers aware of your presence on the roadway.
Useful Resources

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Bicycles
Univ. of Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program
Florida Department of Transportation – “Traffic Laws for Bicyclists to Know”
Florida Department of Transportation – Pedestrian and Bicycle Program

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