Safe Cycling is a focus throughout the entire month of May, which is National Bicycle Safety Month.
Not only is it a time to brush up on your safe biking skills, it’s a time to celebrate our freedom to ride. And officials in Broward County have a complete calendar of bicycling events going on in the area for the month-long safety campaign.
According to a recent study from the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are roughly 57 million people in the country, or more than 25 percent of the population over the age of 15, who ride bicycles. Most of these riders are out there bettering their health and getting exercise, while others ride for recreational purposes.
Our Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyers understand that there are many places to bike in the area. It’s so bikeable that officials have created BIKE Broward, an Interactive Bicycle Trip Planning program. The route planner, funded by the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), is a joint effort by Florida International University GIS Center and University of Florida Geomatics Program at Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center. It is designed as a planning tool for bicyclists. Assistance was received from the Broward County Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee and various cyclists and transportation professionals.
Although officials are working to help you create the safest biking route possible, it’s important for you to make that route as safe as you can. This means you’ve got to be on your best behavior and practice safe riding skills.
According to the recently-released statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Florida is the most dangerous state for these kinds of accidents. In 2011, there were close to 150 bicyclists killed in traffic accidents throughout the year. That’s more fatalities than any other state. And those risks are only going to get worse as we head into summer.
It seems like a no-brainer, but did you know that the proper use of a bike helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 88 percent? In Florida, children under the age of 16 riding a bike or as a passenger on a bike are required by law to wear a helmet, according to the Borward Sheriff’s Office.
Before strapping on your helmet and heading out, you want to make sure that your bike is in good-working condition. Make sure that tires are inflated, the chain is lubed and everything looks well maintained. You want to wear brightly-colored clothing or reflective material to help ensure that motorists see you. When you’re seen out there, your risks for an accident decrease. Use hand signals and abide by road laws and street signs, markings and crossings. It’s the law. Your alertness and defensive biking may be the only thing to save you from a potentially fatal accident with a careless driver.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.
More Blog Entries:
Bicycle Accidents on the Rise in Florida, New Statistics, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, April 28, 2013
Palm Beach Loses Funding for Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, April 4, 2013