Miami Bicycle Accidents and the Laws that Protect Bicyclists
In Miami, persons propelling vehicles by human power are afforded the same rights as vehicles, although the laws bicycles must follow are equally enforceable as much larger cars and trucks. This means bicyclists are recognized as vehicle operators in the event bicycle accidents occur, but can be held equally accountable if causing an accident.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of bike riders travel the beautiful streets of Miami, riding alone or together as family to soak up Florida’s infamous sunshine and breathtaking scenery. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents and fatalities resulting from them are increasing, with 139 in 2014 alone.
Let’s look at the laws protecting bicyclists and what expectation victims can have after they’re injured while riding in approved areas.
Bicycle Regulations in Florida
Statutes regarding bicycle riding, including rules of the road and expectations when passing other bikes, are pretty standard across America. Similar rules apply to vehicles approaching or passing oncoming bicycles. But what sets bikes apart from vehicles is their less protected frames, and no laws mandating that helmets must be worn while riding in approved zones.
Vehicles that barrel through crosswalks legally occupied by bikes attempting to cross busy streets cause death to innocent bikers. Statistics show that even when bicyclists follow Miami and state laws, inattentive or otherwise impaired drivers of much larger vehicles cause injury or death more frequently than bikes induce vehicle wrecks.
Terrain-wise, bike paths situated along streets are actually safer than sidewalks, according to statistics; 44% of adult bike crashes happened on sidewalks, whereas bike lanes contribute only 5% to accident totals between 2007 and 2011.
What Bike Accident Victims Should Do
If you’re able to move after being struck, remain on scene (literally, exactly where hit) and call law enforcement. Depending on whether the driver fled or stayed to assist, you’ll want to give the officer what information you can, such as how you were struck, the location of the accident if different from where you ended up, and whether the vehicle exercised their duty to care for you by honking or flashing headlights.
Retaining an accident attorney is suggested, too. Facts surrounding your injury, along with the injury itself, will merit compensation.
Besides suing wrongdoers, bicyclists can also attend city meetings to help enact tougher biking laws. They can insure their own bikes against accidents, ride in designated areas only and watch for reckless vehicles. Beyond that, understand that bike riding in Miami comes with inherited risks.
Remember, Laws Will Protect Law-Abiding Bicyclists
Provided bike riders follow Miami’s rules of riding, and safety gear is worn, the likelihood of accidents shrinks dramatically. While we cannot control others’ automobile operation, we can certainly follow laws meant to protect the innocent.
When others fail to yield and cause immeasurable pain and suffering, exercise your right to hold them accountable.
Payer & Associates in Miami offers skilled representation to victims of bicycle injury accidents. Reach out to us today for assistance with your case.