Bias against cyclists is real. There’s a good chance you’re reading this because of that bias. The driver who hit you may have thought you should have been on the sidewalk, or you should have just moved out of their way. That motorist probably had no idea how defenseless riders are, but now you have a mountain of medical bills to prove it.
Understanding the Bias Against Cyclists
Florida is dangerous for bicyclists, and bias against cyclists is one of the biggest reasons.
Why is this the case? One reason is that drivers often see bicyclists as a nuisance or obstacle on the road, leading to frustration and negative attitudes toward them. Drivers may need help understanding or following the laws and regulations regarding the rights of bicyclists to use the road, leading to conflicts and dangerous situations. Another reason is that some people may view bicyclists as inexperienced or reckless, which can lead to a bias against them.
Also, some drivers may not be aware of the vulnerability of bicyclists in case of a collision, which can lead to a lack of empathy or consideration for their safety.
Are Drivers Required to Share the Road?
Yes, Florida drivers must share the road with bicycle riders. According to Florida state law, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles. This means that drivers must give bicyclists the same amount of space as other vehicles and not impede their safe operation. Additionally, drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to bicyclists at crosswalks, sidewalks, and bike lanes and only to pass a bicyclist if it is safe to do so.
Florida law also requires bicyclists to follow the same rules of the road as drivers, including obeying traffic signals and signs, signaling turns and lane changes, and riding with the flow of traffic.
Instances of Bias Causing Bicycle Accidents
There were 206 bicycle fatalities across Florida in 2022. These are just three examples of how bias against cyclists can have tragic results.
- A Canadian man visiting Florida died when a commercial truck broadsided his bike in St. Lucie County.
- Authorities charged a 30-year-old woman with fatally striking a cyclist in Naples and fleeing the scene.
- According to police, a driver hit the right side of a cyclist’s bike in a T-bone crash, killing the rider instantly.
Better Infrastructure for Cyclists Could Reduce Accidents
Better infrastructure for cyclists, such as dedicated bike lanes, protected intersections and roundabouts, and improved signage and signals, could help reduce the number of accidents involving bicyclists.
Dedicated bike lanes provide a separate space for bicyclists to ride, which can reduce conflicts and improve visibility for both bicyclists and drivers. Protected intersections and roundabouts can also improve safety by separating bicyclists from motor vehicles and providing clear and direct routes.
Improved signage and signals can help alert drivers to the presence of bicyclists. It can also make it easier for bicyclists to navigate the road.
Infrastructure for cyclists could also include the following:
- Bike-sharing systems
- Secure bike parking
- Other facilities that make it easier for people to choose biking as a mode of transportation
Steps to Take if You’re Hit by an Angry Driver
If you are hit by a car while on your bicycle, there are a few critical steps you should take to ensure your safety:
- Seek medical attention – Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s essential to get checked out by a medical professional. Some injuries, such as head trauma, may not be immediately apparent.
- Call the police – Report the accident to the police and request that they file a report. This will provide an official record of the incident. It can be helpful if you need to make a claim with your insurance company or file a lawsuit.
- Get contact and insurance information – Collect the contact and insurance information of the driver who hit you and any witnesses.
- Take photos – Take photos of the scene of the accident. Including the damage to your bicycle and the other vehicle, as well as any visible injuries you sustained.
- Contact an attorney – Consider contacting an attorney with experience in personal injury cases involving bicyclists. They can help you navigate the legal process, negotiate with the insurance company, and work to secure fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
- Document everything – Keep a record of all your medical appointments, bills, and expenses related to the accident.
Don’t talk to the driver’s insurance company without consulting with your attorney. Be careful when giving statements to the insurance company, as they may try to use your words against you.
Remember that your safety and well-being always come first. It’s essential that you follow the proper steps in the aftermath of an accident to protect your rights.
Contact Jones Law Group to Speak With an Experienced Attorney as Soon as Possible
Let a Jones Law Group bicycle accident attorney work to defeat the bias against cyclists that could affect your ability to obtain maximum compensation. We have a great deal of experience in this area of the law, and we regularly defeat deep-pocketed insurance companies.
Our firm will investigate the accident to determine how it occurred and then identify who’s to blame. Once we do that, we’ll fight for your rights to help you get the money you deserve. We’ll work to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. If the insurance company refuses to make a fair offer, we’ll be ready to fight them in court if necessary.