Articles Posted in bicycle accidents

In Mid-March, a week into the pandemic, our Fort Myers injury attorneys reported in Pandemic has More People Cycling in Southwest Florida  that a record interest in cycling had already descended upon local bike shops.

Since then, interest in cycling and demand for bicycles have run right off the charts. bicycle-200x300

The New York Times reports countries as diverse as Uganda are opening closed streets to bicyclists and pedestrians, and similar moves are afoot in New York City as well as several other major urban areas. Continue reading ›

New statistics and growing anecdotal evidence suggest our most vulnerable road users may not be benefiting from the reprieve we have seen in serious automobile accidents during the three months Southwest Florida has hunkered down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Our experienced injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers highlighted the likely risk as COVID restrictions began in mid-March. Pedestrian Injuries a Spring Risk in Southwest Florida and Pandemic Scare has More People Cycling in Southwest Florida both highlighted the fact that our most vulnerable road users have always faced high risks, but the coronavirus pandemic may actually be increasing the dangers. intersection1-300x225

Certainly, that is holding true when it comes to cyclists. Media outlets nationwide are reporting a huge increase in demand for bicycles, with many locations reporting long wait lists for cycles under $2,000. The News-Press recently reported bicycle sales in Lee and Collier county are up more than 100 percent compared to the same period last year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has many Southwest Floridians in isolation. An increasing number are venturing out for long walks or bicycle rides. While bicycling can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors in a solitary pursuit, taking care to avoid injuries during these challenging times should be a priority.bicycle-lamp-1480863-300x225

May is traditionally Bicycle Safety month, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsors campaigns to remind drivers and bicyclists to do their part to help reduce deaths and injuries on our roads. However, bicycle shops in Southwest Florida are already experiencing unprecedented demand for sales and service as home-bound adults look for options for outdoor activity.

Our experienced injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know that novice adult cyclists are among the most likely to be injured as they embark on a new hobby and, in many cases, relearn a skill from childhood.

The San Francisco Chronicle is among the media outlets reporting the surge in cycling during the pandemic. Currently, 40 million California residents are under a shelter-in-place order and walking and cycling are among the few remaining outdoor options. In major metropolitan areas, including New York City, which has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, authorities have actually promoted cycling as the safest transportation option.

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Florida has once again ranked as the deadliest state in the nation for bicycle riders.

And it’s getting deadlier. A total of 125 bicyclists were killed on Florida roads in 2017, compared to 148 deaths last year. That’s a year-over-year increase of about 20 percent, which is particularly alarming because Florida was already the nation’s deadliest state for cyclists.

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Our bicycle injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral want to remind motorists that Florida law requires drivers provide riders with at least three feet of clearance when passing. Florida Statute 316.083 governs overtaking and passing a vehicle. F.S. 316.156 requires drivers pass on the left at a safe distance (of at least 3 feet) and not drive back to the right until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration projects a slight decline in the final tally of traffic fatalities in 2018, even as the number of pedestrian and bicycle deaths continues to rise.

Overall traffic deaths are projected to decline by 1 percent, Forbes reported. However, pedestrian deaths were up 4 percent last year, while bicycle deaths surged 10 percent. Both were already at historic highs. Nationwide, more than 36,000 people were killed on the roads last year. pedestriansafety-225x300

Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers note Southwest Florida continues to be one of the deadliest areas in the nation for bicycle and pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association reports California, Florida and Texas annually report the highest number of pedestrian deaths. All three states join Arizona and Georgia in reporting more than 100 pedestrian deaths a year and together account for nearly half of the nation’s fatal pedestrian accidents.

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Friday was Bike to Work Day, which signals the beginning of the summer riding season.

While northern riders are just getting back out on the roads after a long winter, bicyclists in Southwest Florida enjoy year around riding weather. However, even such year-around activity does not explain why Florida remains the most dangerous state in the nation for serious and fatal bicycle accidents. bicycle-200x300

Our bicycle injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral note safety advocates have been using the entire month of May to promote cycling safety and awareness, in much the same way that May has become known as Motorcycle Safety Month for more than a decade. Both campaigns target motorists with their messages, as automobile drivers are most likely to be responsible when a collision occurs with a cyclist or motorcycle rider.

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Cycling events are kicking off in Southwest Florida as prime riding season gets underway.

We recently wrote about the risk of motorcycle accidents as Daytona Bike Week gets underway March 8. But in Southwest Florida its two-wheel riders of a different kind who will hold one of the year’s largest events. Cyclists will participate in the 21st Annual Royal Palm Challenge on March 9 & 10. Our bicycle injury lawyers in Naples and Fort Myers urge motorists to use extra caution and to respect the rights of cyclists on the road. A moment of inattention or impatience can cause a tragedy.cyclingsafety-300x225

Spring is prime season for cyclists in Southwest Florida. Moderate temperatures, cool breezes and little chance of heavy downpours make it perfect riding weather. A large number of visitors and tourists add to the mix. In most cases, a collision with a rider is the fault of the motorist, and almost always results in the rider suffering very serious or life-threatening injuries.

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Florida has an unfortunate – and well-deserved – reputation for being one of the most dangerous places for bicyclists. More than 800 cyclists die in collisions with motor vehicles annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and 18 percent of those fatalities occurred right here in the Sunshine State. A huge part of the problem, say traffic safety experts, is a lack of bicycle-friendly roads and facilities. This brings us to another important issue: Unsafe bicycle paths.bike accident lawyer

This could refer to either a bicycle lane or a pedestrian/ bicycle path not intended for motor vehicle traffic. Although property owners – including the government – have a responsibility to maintain their site in reasonably safe condition for lawful visitors, some claims may be precluded by recreational use statutes. That’s not always going to be the case, so it’s important to at least discuss these matters with an experienced attorney. Most of these types of claims will center on a theory of premises liability. That could mean any individual or entity involved with the bike trail’s design, construction and maintenance could be named a defendant. The duty of care owed by landowners, trail management agencies, non-profit groups and local municipalities is worth investigating.

However, there are a number of possible defenses.  Continue reading ›

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 ›

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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