Staying Safe Amidst The Rise Of Bicycle Injuries
Bicycle-related injuries have been increasing in the Miami-Dade County area over the last few years. The Miami Herald reports that in 2014, there were nearly 1,000 bicycle crashes and 18 deaths. This is an enormous increase from 2011, when, according to Miami-Dade police reports, the death toll was six and the collision count was approximately 700.
Several bike-safety programs are available in the area, one through the University of Miami called “Bike Safe,” and two through the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital that are offered for kids. The first is called the Kohl’s Childhood Injury Prevention Program, which provides bicycle safety instruction programs and bike helmet fittings for children. The second is Safe Kids Miami Dade County, which offers bike safety tips to help children prevent injuries while cycling.
Safe Kids offers the following safety advice: know the rules of the road, and follow the traffic laws. This reinforces the message that it is important to always do the following:
- Ride with traffic, not against it. This means that you should stay on the right side of the road.
- Use hand signals.
- Stop at stop signs and stop lights.
- Before crossing an intersection or entering a street, look to your left, right, and then left again.
- When making a left turn, look behind you and yield to traffic approaching from behind before making the turn.
Other safety advice includes the following:
- Beware of your road choice. Potholes can be dangerous obstacles for cyclists.
- Avoid headphone use. Even listening in one ear reduces a cyclist’s awareness of his or her surroundings.
- Use bike lanes when possible. If you have to use the sidewalk, act like a pedestrian by going slowly and stopping when appropriate.
- Make sure your seat height is adjusted properly.
What Is The Legal Status Of A Bicycle?
Under Florida law, a bicycle is considered a vehicle. A cyclist is considered a driver. Not only must cyclists follow the traffic laws that apply to all other drivers, but they must also follow all bicycle-specific regulations. Regulations specific to bicycles include rules about lights, passengers, helmets, and seating. Bikes must display a white light in the front from sunset to sunrise and a red light and red reflector on the rear. Cyclists or passengers under age 16 must wear a helmet. Bicycles must have a seat and must not be used to carry more passengers than it is equipped to carry. Adult cyclists are permitted to carry children using appropriate equipment.
Injured in a bicycle accident? Contact Pita Weber & Del Prado today!
If you or a loved one has suffered from any type of bicycle-related injury or accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Every case is unique, so it is critically important to speak with an experienced team of bicycle accident lawyers as soon as possible. The lawyers at Pita Weber & Del Prado are available to advise you of your rights in your individual situation. Call Pita Weber & Del Prado today at 305-670-2889 or send us a message online for a free consultation.