There are numerous benefits to owning and riding a bike. It’s good for your health, it can help build up your strength and endurance while helping to shed those extra pounds, and it’s an overall great way to get out and enjoy our sunny days and tropical terrain. Throughout the area, numerous bicycling groups get together for group rides, exploring park trails with scenic views, or riding along city streets and on quiet neighborhood roads. Biking is also a great form of transportation, easing the burden placed on the environment and costing far less than a car to own and operate. While bicycling can be an all-around good idea, injuries due to bicycling accidents can cause serious damage. To prevent accidents and ensure your own safety, be sure and obey all traffic rules and take the appropriate safety precautions when out riding your bike.
Florida Bicycle Laws
Under Florida law, bicycles are legally described as a vehicle. While they have all the same rights as any other motorists, they are also expected to follow the law in order to maintain highway safety. The Gainesville Cycling Club is one of several groups of bicycling enthusiasts in the area that gather together to ride and enjoy each other’s company. In order to ensure its members’ safety, the group urges members as well as the general public to follow Florida bicycle laws. By law, bicyclists are required to take the following safety precautions:
- Bicyclists must obey all traffic controls and signals;
- When riding at night, bicycles must be equipped with headlamps and rear deflectors;
- Bicyclists not riding at the same speed of traffic should use designated bike lanes;
- Bicycle hand signals should be used to indicate turns; and
- Bicyclists should refrain from wearing headphones or other devices that could block out important traffic cues.
In addition to obeying traffic laws, bicyclists are urged to protect themselves from injuries by always wearing a helmet and other protective gear, and to never ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Injuries Due to Bicycle Accidents
Despite taking the necessary precautions and obeying traffic laws, bicycle accidents still can and do occur. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, bicycle-related injuries account for more than 580,000 emergency room visits each year. Common bicycle injuries range from mild to severe and include:
- Scratches and lacerations;
- Muscle strains and sprains;
- Broken arms, legs, wrists, and ankles;
- Facial contusions, fractures, and dental injuries;
- Injuries to the chest and abdomen, including rib fractures and spleen ruptures; and
- Head injuries, including skull fractures, concussion, and traumatic brain injury.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one is hurt or injured as the result of a bicycling accident, contact our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys today. At Hogan Frick, our attorneys understand the serious injuries that can result from these accidents, and can help you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. We have offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland, we are prepared to help you today.