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Five Important Tips for Bicycling at Night

Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Daytona Beach Explain Cycling Safety

 Bicyclists have almost no protection from collisions with other objects or vehicles. At most, a helmet and certain types of riding gear may prevent a serious injury during an accident. Some accident survivors can suffer major injuries, including spinal cord and brain injuries. These catastrophic injuries significantly lower a person’s quality of life and ability to obtain gainful employment.

Due to the risks involved with riding a bicycle, it is important to have information that can help you avoid an accident. You should try to avoid riding a bicycle at night. If you do ride at night, then you should consider following the tips listed below to avoid an accident.

 

1. Equip Your Bicycle With Proper Lights

Cyclists are difficult to spot during the day, but especially during late evening hours and at night. In a neighborhood with poor lighting, cyclists have a very high risk of being involved in an accident with a vehicle or colliding with another object. Lights are essential for preventing an accident. Ideally, your bicycle lights should be visible from a distance of 600 feet.

Florida has requirements for bicycle lights that can help reduce your risk of an accident.

 

2. Wear Reflective Gear While Riding

Visibility is key to avoiding a bicycle accident. You should try to wear bright clothing or bicycle gear. However, reflective gear is another layer of protection that can help you avoid being hit by another vehicle. Reflective gear can reflect light off of oncoming vehicles.

You can even buy reflective tape that you can attach to your helmet or bicycle. Some bicycle safety experts recommend adding reflective tape to the back of your shoes to help identify you as a cyclist to other vehicles.

 

3. Remain Vigilant at All Times

You should ride under the impression that anything could go wrong. Potholes, car doors opening in front of you, vehicles running stop signs and red lights, and drivers succumbing to road rage should be on your mind.

Dooring accidents are an extremely common way that bicyclists suffer catastrophic injuries. This is where a car door opens in front of you while you are riding down a street, in most cases with street parking. You are more at risk of colliding with other objects, including doors, while riding at night.

You should never wear headphones while cycling. Additionally, always keep your eyes on the road ahead and your surroundings. If you are in a depressed mood or feel distracted by other matters, then consider putting off cycling until you feel better.

 

4. Keep Your Bicycle Maintained

Bicycles, like passenger vehicles, require regular maintenance to ensure parts do not malfunction. You should maintain your bicycle, especially the tires, gears and seat. Failing to maintain your bicycle could significantly raise the risk of an accident. Ensure your tires have adequate pressure. Your seat should be securely fastened to the bicycle.

 

5. Follow Florida Bicycle Traffic Laws

Traffic laws exist to maximize safety. Be sure to follow Florida laws on passing, where you can ride, the types of equipment you can use and regulations for minors. Failure to follow these laws could significantly increase the risk of an accident. Receiving a ticket should be the least of your worries.

Although you should follow the law at all times, be aware that failing to follow Florida bicycle laws is extremely dangerous during low visibility conditions. Night riding is much more dangerous than riding during the day.

 

Call Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Daytona Beach

 

Bicycle accident injuries can saddle survivors and their families with unaffordable medical bills. Some types of catastrophic bike accident injuries, such as a spinal cord injury, can lead to millions of dollars in medical and life expenses. Most families cannot afford to take on these costs without assistance.

You may be able to secure compensation for your damages through a settlement or jury verdict. However, insurance companies may attempt to lower the amount of a settlement or may refuse to reach a settlement. An attorney can help you avoid this common pitfall.

Our bicycle accident attorneys in Daytona Beach have experience with accident cases involving catastrophic injuries. You can reach out to us during a free consultation to discuss your potential legal options after a bicycle accident.

Call Zimmet & Zimmet P.L. by dialing (386) 210-9658 or reach us by using the contact form on our website.

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Why Florida Leads the Nation in Bicycle Accident Fatalities

Why Florida Leads the Nation in Bicycle Accident Fatalities

Every time you get on a bicycle and ride alongside vehicle traffic, you put yourself at risk. However, it turns out if you live in Florida, the risk is much higher than in other states. Florida leads the nation in bicycle-related deaths with 6.7 fatalities per million residents. There’s no telling how many people sustain injuries as a result of a bicycle accident on the road.

The state of Florida enjoys beautiful weather most of the year. It’s no surprise people enjoy riding bikes to get around or for exercise. But why is Florida such a dangerous place to ride? If you’re a biker, understanding the potential dangers is a great way to avoid injury. Let’s go over why The Sunshine State poses such a threat and what you can do to protect yourself. 

Reasons for the High Fatality Rate

Cyclists are extremely vulnerable on the road. A bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle is much more likely to result in serious injury or death. This risk goes up when distracted driving is involved. Unfortunately, Florida is much more lenient when it comes to texting and driving. While lawmakers are trying to strengthen regulations, right now drivers must be pulled over for a secondary offense to be cited for using their phones while driving. This has led to more distracted driving, which puts bicyclists at risk.

Another reason for the high fatality rate is due to the number of elderly drivers on the road. Florida has the highest population of people over 65. This means more motorists with slower reaction times. In addition, Florida has a huge tourist industry. While this is great for the state’s economy, it results in more drivers who are unfamiliar with the roads and the driving behaviors of Florida motorists.

Protecting Yourself While Cycling

Yes, Florida is more dangerous for cyclists than other states. However, there are plenty of precautions you can take to avoid injury. When riding in traffic, it’s best to take a “defensive cycling” approach. Some tips for safe riding include:

  • Remain alert – Many bicycle accidents occur because a driver fails to see a cyclist. To protect yourself, you need to always pay attention to other cars. Make sure you acknowledge brake lights, turn signals, and drivers pulling out of parking spots.
  • Always use hand signals – Alerting drivers of your intentions is a great way to avoid accidents. It’s imperative to learn and use the correct bicyclist hand signals. These will tell motorist which way you’re about to turn so they can yield.
  • Safety gear – Every time you ride in traffic, you need to wear proper safety gear. In a bike accident, a helmet could mean the difference between a minor injury and extensive head trauma. In addition, you should always wear bright, reflective clothing. While biking at night, make sure you use lights to alert motorists of your presence.
  • Stay in bike lanes – If there’s a bike lane on the road you’re riding on, use it. Bike lanes put some distance between you and other vehicles.

Contact a Daytona Beach Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident due to the carelessness of a driver, you have a right to seek compensation for medical bills. It’s important you work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate the details of the accident and fight for a proper settlement. Contact Zimmet & Zimmet at (386) 210-9658 to set up a free consultation.