The COVID pandemic has brought many new cyclists to the roads of Southwest Florida. The cycling boom is so pronounced that many local bike shops report wait lists for adult bicycles under $1,000.
While cycling can be a great way for adults to exercise while enjoying the outdoors in properly socially distanced fashion, it is also an uncommonly deadly activity, particularly for older adults coming to the activity for the first time in many years.
Our Fort Myers bicycle accident attorney know that Florida was already the deadliest state in the nation for bicyclists, even before the recent boom in interest.
Staying Safe on the Road while Cycling
Statistics offer a view of the risks, as well as what it takes for motorists and riders to avoid collisions:
- Bicyclist deaths occurred most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Three-quarters of cycling deaths occur in busy urban areas.
- Bicyclist deaths were 8 times higher for males than females in 2017.
- Alcohol was involved in 37% of all fatal bicyclist crashes in 2017.
Ride responsibly, and remember: All states require bicyclists on the roadway to follow the same rules and responsibilities as motorists.
Choosing a Bicycle
Safety begins before you take your first ride.
- Make sure your bicycle fits your properly.
- Even when buying a new bicycle, make sure the bicycle is in good repair and ready for the road. All bicycles are assembled from parts at the bike shop, so don’t assume your bike is ready to go just because it is new.
- Always wear appropriate safety equipment, including a helmet and protective eyewear. Make sure your bike has proper lights and reflectors, and wear a reflective vest, particularly if riding at night.
- Tuck and tie your shoe laces and pant legs so they don’t get caught in your bike chain.
- Plan your route—ride safely and choose bike trails or other protected areas to ride. Never ride on a busy street if other options are available.
Motorist Liability for Bicycle Collisions
Each year, nearly 1,000 people a year are killed in bicycle accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Our bicycle accident attorneys in Cape Coral and Fort Myers know most of these collisions are the fault of a motor-vehicle driver.
Motorists can reduce their risk of being found responsible by:
- Yielding to cyclists. They have the same rights to the road as motor vehicles. Allowing a rider to pass takes a few seconds, and eliminates the chances you will be found responsible for causing a collision.
- Pay particular attention in parking lots.
- Always look behind you for an oncoming rider before making a right turn.
- Look for curbside riders before opening your car door. These dooring accidents cause a substantial number of serious and fatal injuries each year.
- Obey the speed limits and avoid driving aggressively.
Together, we can make Southwest Florida a safe place to live, work and play.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.