According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 371 bicycle accidents in Sarasota and Manatee Counties in 2022 (flhsmv.gov). This means that, on average, a bicycle accident happened almost every day where we live. Unfortunately, recent data also shows that these figures will likely worsen in the near future. In fact, U.S. News & World Reports ranked Florida the worst state in the nation for bicycle fatalities and third worst overall for bicycle safety (usnews.com). Locally, as the population of Sarasota and Manatee counties continues to grow, bicyclists are forced to share the roads with more and more drivers of cars and trucks who are increasingly impatient, distracted, and drive with a mindset that bicyclists should not be on the road at all. As a result, we can expect the number of bicycle accidents in Sarasota and Manatee counties to grow with the population.
LAKEWOOD RANCH BICYCLE ACCIDENT
PARRISH BICYCLE ACCIDENT
BRADENTON BICYCLE ACCIDENT
SARASOTA BICYCLE ACCIDENT
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REAR-ENDING: Rear-end collisions are the most common cause of bicycle vs. automobile accident injuries. Many times they occur when a bicyclist is struck directly on the back wheel. The impact may cause the bike to flip backwards and the cyclist to land on the hood of the car. Other times the automobile may strike one of the back sides of the bike and force the cyclist off the road or into the opposing lane of traffic. Rear-end accidents are most likely to occur at night, especially if a bicycle isn't equipped with a rear reflector, and often involve drivers who are intoxicated.
RIGHT HOOK: An automobile driving next to a bicyclist may fail to see the biker before making a right turn, cutting off the bicyclist’s path. Many times, a motorist may accelerate to bypass the bicyclist and attempt to make the turn quickly in front of them, misjudging the time it takes to execute the turn. In this scenario, the bicyclist may crash into the side of the car or be struck head-on as the automobile makes the turn.
LEFT CROSS: Also referred to as a left-turn accident, this type of collision occurs when an automobile traveling in the opposite direction makes a left turn in front of the bicycle rider. Often times the automobile may hit the biker on their side, causing them to be launched from their bicycle into the street, or run over the biker completely. If the automobile pulls out in front of the bicyclist, the biker may also strike the side of the vehicle like a T-bone collision.
PULL-OUT: Pull-out collisions occur when an automobile backs out of a driveway or pulls forward from a side street without checking for oncoming pedestrian or bicycle traffic. In this scenario, a bicyclist doesn't have any time to brake, making it impossible for the them to avoid a collision with the front or side of the automobile. Many times bushes, poles, buildings, and other obstructions on either side of the roadway can make it more difficult for motorists to see cyclists, making these accidents more likely.
DOORING: This type of crash occurs when an occupant of a parked car opens the door directly in front of an oncoming bicyclist. Once opened, the door blocks the path of the bicyclist, forcing them to either swerve into oncoming traffic, or crash into the door or occupant of the automobile.
ROAD RASH: Simply put, road rash is an abrasion caused by friction. During a motorcycle accident, road rash occurs when a motorcyclist skids across pavement, concrete, dirt or gravel. Sometimes, even the most experienced motorcycle riders will "dump their bike" and take on a road rash injury in an effort to avoid a much more serious injury.
BONE FRACTURES: Many motorcycle accidents involve a motorcyclists body making direct contact with an object at a high rate of speed. As a result, broken bones are a very common injury following a motorcycle collision. high likelihood that a motorcyclist's body comes into direct contact with an object at a high rate of speed. In some instances, bone fractures may require surgical correction along with internal or external fixation.
NECK & BACK INJURIES: Many motorcycle accident victims suffer injuries to their neck, back, and/or spinal cord due to pressure being applied to vertebrae in their spine, which, in turn, results in pressure, impingement, or other damage to the spinal cord. In addition to neck and back pain, these spinal cord injuries may result in muscle weakness in the arms and legs, delayed motor function, breathing difficulties, or paralysis.
BRAIN INJURIES: Brain injuries, or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are some of the most serious and debilitating injuries a motorcycle accident victim may suffer. Like car accidents, most brain injuries related to motorcycle collisions are a form of acceleration/deceleration injuries. However, unlike car accidents, the majority of motorcycle collision related acceleration/deceleration injuries are from the motorcyclist's head striking another object (i.e., the ground/road, another vehicle) at a high rate of speed. While brain injuries are extremely serious, they are commonly, and mistakenly, overlooked by car accident victims and personal injury attorneys.
PSYCHOLOGICAL INJURIES: Following a motorcycle accident, some riders experience psychological trauma such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, or driving-related phobia. Despite being invisible, these injuries are very real and usually require some form of psychotherapy for healing to occur.
According to Florida Statute 627.736, Florida automobile policies must provide Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits to individuals struck by a motor vehicle and suffering bodily injury while not an occupant of a self-propelled vehicle. This means a bicyclist involved in an accident with a car or truck may use their own PIP benefits or the PIP benefits of a member of their household to help pay their medical bills. Furthermore, if a bicyclist does not own a motor vehicle or live with anyone who owns a motor vehicle, they may use the PIP benefits of the driver of the car or truck that struck them.
While, PIP coverage will help pay medical bills and lost wages of a bicyclist involved in an accident with a car or truck, it does provide compensation for other losses such as permanent injuries, pain and suffering, and other unexpected expenses. Unfortunately, over 20% of Florida drivers are uninsured and 40% do not carry Bodily Injury coverage. However, Florida Statute 627.727 states that the Uninsured Motorist portion of an automobile policy may provide insurance coverage to a bicyclist involved in an accident with an uninsured (or underinsured) driver of a car or truck.
According to Florida law, a bicycle is defined as a "vehicle" and the bicyclist is a "driver". As a result, bicyclists enjoy the same rights to Florida's roadways, and, therefore, must obey the same traffic laws as drivers of other vehicles.
BICYCLE REGULATIONS - Florida Statute 316.2065
SIDEWALK RIDING - Florida Statute 316.2065
LIGHTING - Florida Statute 316.2065
ROADWAY POSITION - Florida Statute 316.2065
LEFT TURNS - Florida Statute 316.151(1)(b)(c)
HEADSETS - Florida Statute 316.304
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