At Clark & Martino, P.A. in Tampa, our bicycle accident lawyers recognize the growing popularity of riding a bicycle, either as a means of transportation or strictly for leisure and exercise. But with an increase in ridership comes a rise in the number of bicycle accident injuries and bicycle accident fatalities – at least judging by the most recently compiled statistics. According to data gathered by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the number of bicycle crashes that took place in Florida in 2011 rose nearly two percent from the previous year, this despite an overall reduction in the number of vehicular accidents statewide (Seehttps://www.firesportal.com/Pages/Public/documents/2011CrashFacts/Official2011CrashFacts.pdf). One hundred and twenty people were killed while riding a bicycle, while 4,632 were reported to have been injured.
What explains the rise in bicycle accident injuries and fatalities in Florida? Although it impossible for our Tampa bicycle accident attorneys to isolate any one cause or trend, an inability or unwillingness of Florida motorists to “share the road” in a safe manner is unquestionably a major factor. By law, a bicycle is a vehicle and bicyclists have the very same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Despite the protection afforded by bicycle helmets, bicycle riders remain at a serious disadvantage when they are involved in a collision.