According to the Florida Bicycle Association and the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida leads the nation when it comes to bicycle accidents. In 2009 alone, there were 107 bicycle accident fatalities in the state, a decrease from 125 in 2008. According to local biking advocates, Miami can be especially dangerous for cyclists for a few reasons:
1) Drivers in Miami tend to be from out of state and many are elderly drivers. While there is no exact consensus about whether elderly drivers are riskier than younger drivers, many experts do feel that the elderly are more prone to illnesses, such as strokes, heart attacks, dementia, eye problems, and other illnesses which can affect driving skills. At-risk elderly drivers may simply not see bicyclists, leading to Miami bicycle accidents. In addition, as a major tourist attraction, Florida sees many drivers who are from out-of-state and were therefore unfamiliar with the area. This can also mean an increased risk of Miami car accidents involving bicycles, since drivers who are unfamiliar with the roads may be focused on finding their destination and therefore may not spot a bicyclist in time.
2) Bicycling is possible year round in Miami. One reason why Miami bicycle accidents are so common is because bicyclists in Miami have the ability to ride their bicycles year-round. The beautiful weather does mean that more people are on bicycles for a longer period of time each year, increasing the risk of accidents.
3) Texting and driving is not illegal in Florida. Distracted driving – and distracted bicycling – is a serious problem in the city, leading to many Miami pedestrian accidents and Miami traffic accidents.
4) Some Miami roads were designed with little thought to bicyclists and pedestrians. While motorists and bicyclists are expected to share the roads, some roads are not designed for great visibility or for sharing, leading to Miami traffic accidents.
5) Motorists do not share the road in many cases. Some bicyclists feel that Miami motorists are especially aggressive and less willing to yield right of way or share the road. Unfortunately, aggressive driving does increase the risk of Miami car accidents and bicycle accidents.
6) Risk-taking. Some motorists feel that bicyclists in Miami take unneeded risk, including veering in and out of traffic or driving recklessly, which can lead to collisions. Unfortunately, after a Miami bicycle crash, it is common for there to be a disagreement about what caused the collision. Motorists will often blame the bicyclists and bicyclists will believe that motorists caused the accident. It often takes a Miami personal injury attorney and investigators time to determine the true cause of an accident.
If you have been in a Miami traffic accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group to arrange for a free consultation to discuss your case. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be eligible for compensation in order to pay for medical costs and other expenses related to your injuries. Get the facts before you make any decisions – contact the Flaxman Law Group today.