Bike riding is a passion for many of us at The Pajcic Firm. Steve and Michael Pajcic usually ride their bikes to the office each day.
And they are not alone. Over the last few years, biking has seen a gain in popularity among Floridians, and it isn't hard to see why. Biking has always been a fun, healthier, less-expensive alternative to driving, especially in an area known for year-round sunshine. While biking is a wonderful means of transportation, the rise in popularity has not surprisingly also correlated to a rise in bicycle accidents.
Florida is one of the most dangerous states for bicyclists, and has been for some time. With as many as 25 million people riding their bikes around our state every year, more needs to be done to keep our roads safe.
In 2015, more than 800 cyclists were killed on U.S. roadways, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In Florida, that same year, 154 bike riders died on the roadways. In fact, there are typically more than 7,000 bike crashes a year in Florida resulting in well over 6,000 injuries.
A recent State Farm report highlights some surprising statistics. According to this report, bicycle accidents are more common among men than women. They are also more likely to occur in urban areas. Interestingly, bicycle accidents are more likely to occur somewhere other than a busy intersection. They are far less likely to occur at dawn or dusk than any other time of day.
Motorists must learn to share the road and be aware that bicyclists have just as much right to be there. Before turning a corner or merging into traffic, make sure to check blind spots for any bicyclists. Slow down when passing a biker riding on the shoulder of a road and give them as much space as is safely possible when you pass. With the escalating problem of distracted driving, we want to remind motorists to constantly be alert to both pedestrians and cyclists. It is also vital for bike riders to follow the rules of the road and make themselves extremely visible to motorists. Proper lighting on their bikes is essential. It is also helpful if the cyclist is wearing bright colors and reflective clothing. Wearing a helmet is also crucial to minimize injuries if there is a crash. Obviously, bicyclists are more vulnerable because they have less protection in an accident. The rates of injury and fatality are higher among bicyclists because of that vulnerability.
Pajcic & Pajcic has had numerous cases involving bicycle crashes. In one of our recent trials in St. Johns County, a jury awarded our client, the widow of a cyclist, a $4 million verdict.
If you or a loved one have been injured while riding a bike, contact The Pajcic Firm today. Our bike accident lawyers can help you get riding again.