Florida Bicycle Accident Statistics
In 2018, there were 857 fatalities from bicycle accidents in the United States. Florida accounted for the most bicycle related deaths, with 16% in 2017. What makes Florida so dangerous for bicyclists, and what kinds of injuries are causing these deaths?
In a recent survey of Florida cyclists, they found that 36% of cyclists don’t wear helmets, 56% ride with traffic, and 74% of people who ride against traffic do so because they want to be able to see oncoming vehicles. Safe bicycle riding should be your number one priority, which means wearing a helmet while riding and riding with traffic, as far to the right side of the road as you can.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents?
Bicycle accidents are often caused for similar reasons as car accidents, like distracted driving, driving under the influence, speeding, driving recklessly, driving aggressively, or inexperienced drivers. However, other causes may include not leaving enough of a space between their vehicle and your bicycle, not checking blind spots before switching lanes, not paying attention at a right or left turn, or weaving through traffic.
If a driver isn’t paying close enough attention, they may not see a bicycle in the lane next to them. It’s important that drivers are focused on the road ahead, making sure to watch out for any other vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians at all times. If a driver isn’t watching the road carefully, an accident could occur because of their negligence.
With bicycle accidents, collisions are very common in intersections where a vehicle is turning left on a yield or right on red. In these circumstances, the driver is most likely focused on their ability to turn based off of other cars in traffic, and not so much any cyclists or pedestrians that might be around them. The oversight of a cyclist can cause an accident to occur.
Injuries from Bicycle Accidents
There are many different injuries that can occur because of a bicycle accident, and these injuries are more likely to be severe, as a cyclist doesn’t have much protection against a bigger vehicle. While most cyclists wear helmets, a helmet won’t entirely prevent an injury, but it can make it less severe. However, other than a helmet, cyclists don’t have any other protection.
Injuries to the head can be very serious, causing brain damage, vegetative state, coma, loss of consciousness, brain death, and death. Traumatic brain injury occurs when the head is struck or penetrated by a great force. While wearing a helmet might make a TBI less severe, it doesn’t prevent them from happening altogether.
Spinal cord injuries are common among bicycle injuries as the force of a vehicle hitting a cyclist can be very great, depending on the speed of the vehicle at the time of impact. A spinal cord injury can result in paralysis, coma, and death. Treatment of a spinal cord injury can vary in price, but usually is a combination of injections, surgeries, and physical therapy, making the overall costs on the higher side.
Neck and Back Injuries
Neck and back injuries, like whiplash and herniated discs, are fairly minor injuries that tend to heal on their own. More severe back injuries may require surgery or physical therapy. And more severe neck injuries may require the use of a brace to help stabilize the neck and spine.
After an accident, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor, even if you don’t believe that you’ve been injured. Adrenaline can mask even more serious injuries, like internal ones. Internal injuries include damage to the organs because of blunt force trauma, or internal bleeding. Internal injuries often require surgery.
Broken Bones and Fractures
Broken bones and fractures usually will heal on their own when the bone is set with a cast. However, surgery may be required if the bone needs to be set back into place before being placed in a cast for healing.
What to Do After Being Injured in a Bicycle Accident
After you’re injured in a bicycle accident you should complete the following steps:
- File a police report. Don’t let anyone talk you out of filing a police report. They can greatly help your case. An insurance company may deny your claim if you don’t have one.
- Exchange information with the at-fault party or any other involved parties. Speak to witnesses and get their contact information. Encourage witnesses to stick around at the scene to speak with a police officer.
- Take photos of the scene, including your bicycle, any involved vehicles, your injuries, and the location.
- Record a statement for your own personal use.
- Seek medical attention, even if you don’t believe that you’re injured.
- Contact a bicycle accident attorney and then file a claim with your insurance. It’s important to speak with an attorney first. That way, you minimize the risk of damaging your claim by speaking to the insurance companies.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, please contact our attorneys at Jones Law Group. Our years of experience will be incredibly valuable to your case. For more information, or a free case evaluation, please contact us online or at 727-571-1333.