Riding a bicycle provides a great way to have fun, stay in shape, and enjoy Florida’s fresh air and gorgeous scenery. In addition to the enjoyment, however, bicycling comes with some risks. Learning to avoid those risks and ride safely should be your top goal.
In 2020, Florida saw almost 6,000 bicycle crashes. While a personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation if you sustain a serious injury in a bicycle accident, some proactive safety tips can help keep you safe on two wheels.
Bicycle Safety Tips
Check the Weather Report
Before you hit the road on your bicycle, take a look at the weather report for your area. Wet, slick roads and low visibility will increase your accident risk—plus, a bike ride will be far more fun on a clear, dry day. If bad weather hits when you’re out for a ride, try to find a safe spot to wait it out for a bit. If you need to keep going, use extra caution.
Gear Up for Safety
According to Florida law, any cyclist or bike passenger under the age of 16 must wear a helmet. If you want to feel like a teenager again, wear a helmet regardless of your age. A helmet that fits properly, with a strap that fastens securely, can help you avoid serious head injury in the event of an accident.
You should make intelligent choices from head to toe. Before you hop on your bike, lace up your sneakers. Athletic shoes are your best choice for bike safety. High heels, sandals, flip-flops, or bare feet may make a fashion statement, but they also make your bike ride more dangerous.
When you ride a bike, visibility matters. Neon bike shorts, leggings, jerseys, accessories, and shoes help drivers see you better in the daytime. Look for reflective apparel for evening or nighttime rides.
If you plan to ride at night, Florida state law states that you need a white light visible for 500 feet on the front of your bike. You need a red light and red reflector visible for a minimum of 600 feet on the back.
Stay in Your Lane
Literally, stay in your lane. Use a bicycle lane any time it’s an option. If your route does not have a bike lane, then follow the next tip.
Keep Your Distance
When you ride your bike, remember to give all motor vehicles ample space. You want to pay particular attention to buses and big rigs with blind spots. Stay as far away as possible from vehicles that weigh more and go faster. You and your bike cannot compete, so steer clear for safety.
Follow the Law
When you are riding your bike, make sure to obey all traffic laws. Look out for traffic signs and signals. Watch out for marked lanes. When you see an oncoming motor vehicle, you should yield the right of way.
Keep Your Focus
Always stay alert, especially when you ride in high-traffic areas. Put your cell phone on silent. No call or text is worth risking your life. If you have to respond, wait until you can find a safe spot to stop and pull over. Save music or podcasts for another time. They can be distracting while cycling, and headphones won’t allow you to hear approaching traffic.
Even if you obey all the rules and follow every safety measure possible, you cannot control the behavior of others on the road. What should you do if you’re in an accident while riding a bicycle?
Your well-being is the number one priority. If you can move safely, do so, then call the police or emergency services. Document the accident with photos, video, and notes. Get the contact information for anyone else involved in the accident, as well as witnesses who may be able to provide additional details.
Seek medical treatment, even if you think you’re fine. You may be in shock. Your injuries may be more severe than you realize.
After you see a medical professional to get treated for any injuries, you may want to seek out an accidents lawyer to discuss a potential personal injury claim.
Cohen and Juda, P.A.: We Represent You Personally
If you need a personal injury attorney for accidents in Broward County, Florida, we are here for you. Whether you were in a bicycle accident, injured due to a DUI driver, or hit by an uninsured motorist, our team of knowledgeable professionals is here to assist you.
Our personal injury experience is not limited to motor vehicle accidents. If you were hurt falling in a store or are trying to cope following the wrongful death of a family member, we can also help.
We have more than 30 years of experience working to protect the rights of accident, slip-and-fall, and other personal injury victims. We have resolved millions of dollars in cases through trial and settlement.
When you’re a law firm client, Mr. Cohen and Mr. Juda will represent you personally. We will work closely with you and file a personal injury suit to pursue compensation that will give you financial support and peace of mind.
Schedule your free consultation by completing our online form or calling our Plantation, Florida, office at 954-424-1440. At Cohen and Juda, P.A., we operate on contingency fees, which means that you will never need to pay us until and unless we have won your case and you’ve received your compensation award.
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