Florida law recognizes that bicycles are legally defined as vehicles and are allowed to ride with the flow of traffic.It is important to remember just because the law allows for this does not make riding a bicycle in Florida easier for cyclists.Crowded streets, busy intersections, aggressive drivers, and speeders are all present dangers to a Florida cyclist.
Dangers of Florida Intersections
Did you know that approximately 40% of bicycle accidents in Florida and around this nation occur at intersections? Even though intersections have crosswalks, signal lights, and road rules that motorists and cyclists should follow, it does not always make for a safe place.
There are many reasons why intersections are not the safest place for cyclists, including:
- Red Light Runners: Many drivers think they can make it across the intersection before the light turns red. Some drivers deliberately run red lights, where others do not have quick reaction times.Whatever the case may be, a cyclist can suffer injuries from a bicycle accident that occurs at an intersection due to red light runners.
- Negligent Drivers: Some drivers do not look both ways before they make a left or right turn, and may cut bicyclists off.Other drivers just don’t pay attention to cyclists and do not watch out for them.This negligence contributes to many bicycle accidents at intersections.
- Aggressive Drivers: An aggressive driver may spot a cyclist traveling in the same direction and attempt to outrace the cyclist to the intersection, this is so a driver doesn’t have to wait for the bicycle rider to cross the street.
- Failing to Yield: There are yielding laws in place; however, many drivers do not practice them while they are driving.Most drivers look both ways for other cars, but often fail to notice bicyclists on sidewalks or in bicycle lanes, and fail to yield at intersections.
Intersections at stop signs could be just as dangerous for bicycle riders as red light intersections.Drivers need to do a better job of sharing the road with cyclists and respecting their rights to the road. Cyclists need to be constantly aware of what is going on around them in order to save their own life.
If you or someone you love has been harmed in a South Florida bicycle accident, you may have rights to financial compensation for medical bills,therapy, lost wages and more. Find out more about your potential recovery by calling the Law Offices of David Benenfeld to speak with a knowledgeable bicycle accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale today at [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″].