During 2022, there were 289 reported bicycle crashes in Duval County. Of those, nearly all of them, 272, resulted in injuries. There were 5 deaths in Jacksonville due to biking accidents. Throughout the state of Florida in 2022, there were 7,113 crashes resulting in 6,643 injuries and 209 biking fatalities. No matter how careful you are on a bicycle, you run the risk of being injured in an accident. If that happens, be sure to contact a Jacksonville Bicycle Accident Lawyer.
Some of the leading causes of biking accidents include:
Safety starts with your equipment. You must be sure you have adequate air in your tires. Deflated tires can affect your ability to maneuver and stop your bike. Your brakes must be in good working order. Your bike must have adequate lights and reflectors. If you plan to bike between sunset and sunrise, you must have a lamp on the front of your bike and a lamp and reflector on the rear each exhibiting a red light. If the biker is under the age of 16, he must wear a helmet that is properly fitted, properly secured, and meets the federal safety standards for bicycle helmets.
To stay safe, bicyclists in Jacksonville must practice the same defensive-driving techniques they use when driving a car. Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate the potential for danger. If you must swerve, swerve to the right instead of to the left into oncoming traffic. It is better to hit something soft like a bush than something hard like a concrete wall. It is better to steer into the grass and off the road than to skid and lose control. If you have no other choice, it is better to hit something stationary than something that is coming toward you.
You should ride in the same direction as traffic while on the roadway and stay as far to the right of the lane as possible. If bike lanes are available, use them. Anticipate people having a hard time seeing you on a bike. When crossing a road in a crosswalk, abide by all pedestrian rules and never assume a stopped car sees you. If you are on a sidewalk, watch out for cars pulling out of parking lots and side streets. Drivers may be focused on the roadway traffic and may completely miss the biker or fail to appreciate a biker’s speed.
Pursuant to Florida Statute 316.2065, bicycles on the roadway are considered vehicles and as such, they are subject to all the rights and duties applicable to drivers of cars. Bicycles are also allowed to bike on the sidewalk but some local ordinances treat bicyclists differently. That is why it is important to look into the ordinances where you intend to ride. Checking with a local bike shop is also a good idea. When a bicycle is on a sidewalk, it has the same rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian. However, when biking on a sidewalk, bikers must yield to other pedestrians.
According to Florida’s Driver’s Handbook, motorists must do everything possible to avoid colliding with pedestrians. When accidents happen, our clients have suffered a variety of injuries ranging from broken bones, spinal injuries, brain injuries, and death. At Rosenberg & Calvin, P.A., if you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Jacksonville, we feel it is important for you to speak with an attorney knowledgeable in the field in order to protect and preserve your rights and ensure you are compensated to the full extent of the law.