The death of a 73-year-old bicyclist in a North Fort Myers traffic collision is a tragic reminder of the risks faced by vulnerable road users every day in Southwest Florida.
NBC-2 reports the cyclist was struck and killed by a pickup truck at Bayshore Road and Ixora Drive. The man was riding on the shoulder of SR 78, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Authorities report the cyclist partially entered the path of the truck before being struck.
Our Cape Coral bicycle accident lawyers know cyclists face high risks throughout Southwest Florida. However, we also know that vulnerable road users, including cyclists, pedestrians and motorcycle riders, are also too often blamed for causing or contributing to a traffic collision. It’s important all motorists understand that bicycle riders are entitled to use the roadway and enjoy all of the same rights as the operator of a motor vehicle. Additionally, Florida’s law of contributory negligence still allow a rider or other accident victim to pursue damages against an at fault party even if the rider is found partially at fault for causing a collision.
Bicycle Safety in Focus in Southwest Florida
Florida is the most dangerous state in the nation for bicycle riders, according to federal accident data. Bicyclists account for more than 5 percent of traffic accident fatalities in Florida, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2020, 170 riders were killed, by far the most of any state in the nation. California was the only other state to report more than 100 rider deaths, with 129.
Riders are most likely to be killed at dusk on the weekend, although weekday riding fatalities are pretty evenly spread throughout the day, from an hour after sunup until shortly after sundown.
As the weather cools, our bicycle accident lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral expect more riders to hit the road. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of being involved in a collision.
- Plan you ride: Lee County offers hundreds of miles of bike lanes and riding trails. Take advantage of these safer spaces and try to plan your ride accordingly.
- Wear a helmet: Even a slow speed collision can be deadly, particularly for riders who do not wear a helmet.
- Wear bright clothing: Being seen is half the battle when it comes to avoiding collisions with vehicle traffic.
- Ride with traffic: Riders should always ride in the direction of traffic.
- Pay attention: While most riders are diligent when it comes to doing everything possible to stay safe, watching for traffic entering and exiting traffic lanes, as well as opening car doors and other hazards can help keep you safer.
- Ride with a group: Group riding improves visibility and makes it much more likely you will have immediate help in the event of an accident.
These are serious cases. Accident data continues to show the popularity of cycling with middle-aged men means these collisions often seriously injure or kill a husband or father in the prime of his life, leaving families emotionally and financially devastated. Reaching out for immediate consultation with an experienced personal injury or wrongful death law firm is the best thing you can do to protect the financial well-being of you and your family.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.