A bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle can have a profound impact on the victim of the crash and his or her family. When an accident like this occurs, it is important to seek medical attention to understand the full extent the crash may have had on you physically. It also is important to consult with a bike accident lawyer, who can help you figure out your next steps.
Number of Traffic Bicycle Accidents
Thousands of bicyclists in Florida are involved in traffic crashes, and the vast majority are injured as a result. Many of these traffic accidents are caused by a motor vehicle driver’s negligence and leave the cyclist suffering from injuries that can last a lifetime.
In 2009, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Traffic Crash Statistics Report found 4,774 bicyclists were involved in traffic crashes. Of these reported traffic bicycle crashes, 4,376 cyclists were injured.
Common Types of Traffic Bicycle Injuries
When a motor vehicle and bicycle collide, the cyclist usually is the one who sustains the most serious injuries. Bicyclists hurt by a motor vehicle commonly suffer from:
- scrapes, bruises and scratches;
- broken bones
- spinal cord injuries;
- traumatic brain injuries; and
The best method of protection is to prevent a bicycle accident from ever occurring. Adhering to traffic laws and wearing a bicycle helmet are essential. Of course, you cannot account for the actions of another, and when a motor vehicle is involved, the matter can get even more complicated.
What to Do Following a Bicycle Accident
If you’re involved in an accident, first be sure to receive the medical assistance needed. Your physical health is of the utmost importance, and a bicycle-motor vehicle accident can cause injuries that may not surface immediately or be evident to the eye.
After receiving medical assistance, you should contact a bike accident lawyer, who can protect your rights and guide you in pursuing your deserved compensation.
How to Prevent a Bicycle Accident
There are some common types of occurrences that can increase the likelihood of a bicycle-motor vehicle accident. One of these is not following basic traffic principles. These principles can help cyclists stay safe and prevent a bicycle accident from ever occurring.
5 Traffic Principles for Cycling Safety
The League of American Bicyclists list 5 traffic principles all bike riders should follow. These are:
- Riding on the right side of the road – Cyclists should ride with the traffic flow and never on the sidewalk.
- Giving the right-of-way to motor vehicles in heavily trafficked areas – On busier roads, riders should always use signals and check behind themselves to alert drivers of their intention to move,
- Giving the right-of-way to motor vehicles when changing lanes – Riders switching lanes should yield to the traffic already traveling in that lane.
- Riding in the right-hand lane – The right-hand lane is the safest for cyclists. Additionally, it is recommended to ride in the right third of the right-hand lane.
- Choosing the correct lane, depending on speed – The left-most lane is considered the fastest one, and you should position yourself accordingly.
These traffic principles may help lower the probability of becoming a bicycle accident statistic. However, they cannot account for another person’s negligence. If you were injured, and you want to speak with an experienced attorney who has dealt with many bicycle accident cases, contact us online or call 888-207-0905.