Florida Bicycle Accidents Continue to Be a Cause for Concern
Over the past decade, Florida has consistently ranked at the top of nationwide lists for the number of bicycle accidents that occur within the state. With little to protect them in collisions with motor vehicles, bicyclists are at risk for serious personal injuries, which all too often end up proving fatal. As the latest statistics continue to show an alarming number of accidents in our area, a former resident injured several years ago in a Fort Pierce bicycle accident claims aggressive drivers and lack of awareness of the laws are to blame.
Grim Statistics for Bicycle Accidents in Florida
By all accounts, Florida has a bicycling problem. While increasing numbers of people embrace bike riding as a means of transportation and as a way to have fun and stay fit, they are also facing increased risks on the road. According to statistics from Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES), more than 6,500 crashes occur throughout the state each year. Alarmingly, roughly 100 of these occur in the Fort Pierce/St. Lucie area.
When bicyclists do collide with other vehicles on the road, the injuries they suffer tend to be severe. Among the most common include:
- Broken bones and multiple fractures;
- Abdominal injuries, causing damage to body organs;
- Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries;
- Head injuries, resulting in concussion and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
In too many cases involving residents of our area, these injuries prove fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Florida has one of the highest rates of bicyclists fatalities in the nation, second only to the state of California.
Aggressive Driving Too Blame?
In 2017, Alan Snel was an avid bicyclist and rights advocate in our area who spent his days working with government officials to raise awareness regarding bicycle safety. That is until he was struck and hit by a motorist while riding his bike in Fort Pierce. The accident left him with a concussion, two broken vertebrae, and a badly damaged leg.
According to a January 2019 report in the Florida Phoenix, Snel recently published a memoir detailing his experience. He says the most frustrating thing about it was that the driver involved never even got a ticket, even though he was in flagrant violation of traffic rules which require motorists to allow at least three feet when passing bicyclists. Snel says law enforcement officials at the time seemed unaware that the law even existed. Improper passing is just one of several dangerous driving behaviors which can put bicyclists at risk. Others include:
- Disregarding traffic signs and signals;
- Driving distracted or under the influence.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes, III, we fight for the rights of bicyclists in our area and help hold at fault motorists accountable when accidents occur. If you or someone you love is injured, contact our Fort Pierce bike accident attorney. Request a consultation today to discuss how we can help get you the compensation you need to recover.