Articles Posted in bicycle accidents

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The number of bicycle accident deaths is on the rise. Florida not only had the highest number of such fatalities, it reported the second-highest rate of deaths, when factoring in both population and percentage of total traffic deaths. bicyclists

This troubling news means once again, Florida is the most dangerous place for bicyclists in the country. It’s an issue about which our leaders – and drivers – must take more proactive measures if we hope to change course.

The report, released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reveals there were 818 bicyclists killed in the U.S. in 2015 (the latest year for which final statistics are available). This accounted for 2.3 percent of the total number of traffic deaths that year and marked a stunning 12.2 percent hike as compared to the final death toll tallied in 2014, when 729 bicyclists lost their lives. Continue reading →

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The City of San Diego has agreed to pay almost $5 million to a man injured in a bicycle accident that resulted in severe injuries when his bike was thrown nearly 30 feet after striking a sidewalk that was damaged by a tree. sidewalkcrack

The bike accident occurred three years ago, and resulted in the cyclist suffering torn spinal cord ligaments, numerous lost teeth and a possible stroke after he landed on his head.

Plaintiff filed his personal injury lawsuit in 2015. The settlement agreement is for a much higher sum than what the city normally pays for bicycle injury lawsuits or injuries resulting from damaged sidewalks. Three recent settlements in the past ranged for between $75,000 and $235,000. However, the settlement agreement is still lower than the $7.6 million that was awarded to another cyclist at trial five years ago, after a man was paralyzed when a queen palm tree fell on him during a 2010 storm. Plaintiff in that matter argued the city was negligent because it responded to the Great Recession by, in part, slashing funds for the tree maintenance and inspection program. Continue reading →

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A valet company that did nothing to stop its drivers from cutting through alleys, barreling illegally across lanes of traffic and engaging in other reckless actions will pay $38 million to the bicyclist who was seriously injured by one of its employees. bike

According to The Seattle Times, injury attorneys for the bicyclist won the multi-million dollar case for their client after he suffered a traumatic brain injury, shattered hip, broken ribs and internal injuries. To this day, he can no longer ride a bike – which he used to do every day to and from work. In fact, he can’t even walk more than a short distance without the aid of crutches. Once an employee of the city’s traffic division, he is now permanently disabled. In addition to the surgeries and medical assistance he’s already needed – which has amounted to nearly $430,000 by the middle of 2015 – plaintiff is likely to need four or five more surgeries, his attorney explained.

At trial in Washington State, where the incident occurred, defendant valet company (a company that made $129 million in profits during the first three quarters of last year) had tried to argue the cyclist was at least partially responsible for his own injuries because he didn’t act sooner to the car crossing the street. But the car, driven by a 21-year-old employee of defendant, was reportedly moving across two lanes of travel at a perpendicular angle when he struck the cyclist. Jurors sided with plaintiff.  Continue reading →

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A recent report by The Chicago Tribune lamented the fact there have been six bicyclists struck and killed by large commercial trucks in the city just this year alone. In a city that typically sees six bicycle deaths total every year, to reach that in September – with three more months of the year to go – is deeply troubling. That every single one involved a commercial truck highlights a more serious problem. bicycleincity

It’s one about which our Fort Myers bicycle accident lawyers are fully aware: Trucks pose a serious risk to cyclists. A number of different studies – from England to New York to Seattle – have found that large vehicles account for roughly a third of all bicycle fatalities, despite only accounting for about 7 percent of total traffic volume.

A 2012 study by the University of Washington explored why trucks and bicycles are often in conflict. Researchers noted that movement of freight is central to the local and regional economy, but simultaneously, bicycle travel is increasing and given priority. Bicycles have the potential to impede the flow of traffic, but the sheer size of trucks can do the same and is extremely intimidating to cyclists. One big problem in urban settings? Bicycle lane obstruction by trucks.  Continue reading →

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Recently in Georgia, a University of Athens student was struck and killed by a driver allegedly under the influence of drugs when she slammed into the 25-year-old cyclist. The graduate assistant was reportedly on a night bike ride with a group of cyclists, several of whom were injured and tossed into a nearby ditch. One of the other cyclists injured was listed in serious condition. The riders had been traveling single-file when a woman in a sport utility vehicle traveling the opposite direction reportedly crossed the center line and hit three of the riders. bicyclists3

Investigators were later told by the 31-year-old driver that she’d been looking down at her cell phone when the crash happened. Her toddler was also in the back seat of the vehicle, and police suspect the defendant was on drugs. She was arrested on charges of first-degree homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence of drugs, failure to maintain lane and improper use of a mobile phone while driving.

Although this incident happened in Georgia, it’s a familiar scenario across the south and in urban areas in particular, where bicyclists and motorists are more likely to encounter one another. Florida has historically had the most bicycle fatalities nationwide. The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is that there were 139 bicycle deaths in Florida in 2013. Not only was that more than any other state, it was also one of the worst when population was factored in – 6.99 pedalcyclist fatalities per 1 million population. Wyoming was actually No. 1, but it had a total of 5 bicycle deaths the entire year (to Florida’s 139), The only other state that even came close was Arizona, with a rate of 4.31 bicyclists deaths per 1 million. Bicycle deaths in Florida account for 5.6 percent of Florida’s total traffic fatality count — also worst in the nation. Continue reading →

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When you purchase a bicycle helmet, you are making a commitment to safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 818 bicyclists died on U.S. roads last year – an increase of more than 12 percent – the highest uptick since 1995. Another 45,000 were injured. Research from the same agency revealed helmet use has been estimated to reduce the odds of head injury by 50 percent, and the odds of head, face, or neck injury by 33 percent.bicyclehelmet

In order to be effective, bicycle helmets need to meet certain criteria. Bicycle helmet standards are set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). These set minimum impact absorption requirements (via drop heights on various surfaces), strap strength jerk, roll-off risks and coverage.

Despite these very specific requirements, there continue to be some manufacturers that fail to ensure their products meet these standards before sale to consumers.  Continue reading →

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Bicycle accidents and aggression against cyclists by motor vehicle drives are nothing new on Florida roads, though there has been some increase for the simple fact more people are riding. However, there is one element that has dramatically shifted the dynamic of these encounters: Cameras.bicycle

An increasing number of bicyclists are donning GoPro cameras or others like it, mounted to the cyclists’ helmets, filming every moment. Cycling cameras were first sold primarily for recreational riders as a means to allow them to capture images of their journey. However, they have been more often cropping up on social media sites, showing just how badly drivers are behaving. The footage may not shock some who ride on a regular basis, but they are grabbing the attention of the public and law enforcement. They are also being used in an increasing number of both criminal and civil cases.

Cyclist-versus-car crashes were often he-said-she-said ordeals in court. These cameras are changing the game. Continue reading →

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Most of the bicycle accident lawsuits that are pursued involve a cyclist who was struck by a motorists. The National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports approximately 750 people annually die in bicycle crashes on public ways, with most of those occurring after the cyclist is struck by a car or other vehicle. bicycling

However some of these cases – as well as bike accidents that don’t involve cars – may be caused in whole or in part by a defective bicycle.

There are a host of potential defects that bicycles can have that could render them unsafe or even cause a crash. Some of those issues include:

  • Faulty frame welds
  • Brake issues
  • Pedals that come loose during operation
  • Broken chains or other drive train component problems
  • Tubes or tires that pop or blow out

Continue reading →

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A growing number of tourism officials have cozying up to the bicycle advocacy movement amid recognition of the economic potential of this subgroup of tourists, according to a recent report by Stateline.org, a publication of The Pew Charitable Trusts.bicycling

Biking is becoming increasingly popular as people embrace it not only as a form of healthy recreation, but as a green alternative to driving a motor vehicle. According to the League of American Bicyclists, the number of bicyclists doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009 – and the numbers have continued to grow. Bicycle commuting rates are up more than 100 percent from 2000 to 2013. People who have fallen in love with this sport are also recognizing it as a way to see the country from a different perspective, and that’s given birth to bicycle tourism.

Although bicyclists make up a small portion of out-of-state visitors, they are a much-desired one, according to the report. They tend to stay longer and spend more when they come.

Florida is an ideal spot for many cyclists across the East Coast and beyond due to its flat terrain, unparalleled scenery and mild winters. But there is one major hurdle: Safety. Continue reading →

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State measures that would bolster protections for bicyclists and pedestrians is in jeopardy of losing critical elements, according to supporters in Southwest Florida. bicycle14

House Bill 253, currently being weighed in the Economic Affairs Committee, while companion measure SB 332 , is pending a reference review before the Criminal Justice Committee.

They would amend F.S. 316.003, creating F.S. 316.0275, which would establish expanded definitions. They would also provide criminal penalties for certain noncriminal traffic infractions that result in serious bodily injury or death to a person to “vulnerable road users.” They would also direct law enforcement issuing citations for specified violations to note certain information on the citation. Bicycles would be exempted from provisions for passing a vehicle on the right under certain circumstances, and other exemptions would be granted to provisions for no-passing zones. There would also be a portion that would require motor vehicle operators to allow a group of bicycles to travel through an intersection in certain circumstances.  Continue reading →