Our Fort Lauderdale bicycle and pedestrian injury lawyers wish you and your family a happy and healthy Fourth of July weekend.
In an effort to stay safe, we hope that you will familiarize yourselves with some basic tips to help prevent personal injury this holiday weekend. For pedestrians and bicyclists, the streets can be a dangerous place. This is even more so over the Fourth of July period. We expect to see increased numbers of tourists, drunk drivers, and teen drivers on the road.
Tourists can pose a unique danger to bicycle riders by opening their doors without paying attention to an approaching cyclist. If a driver opens a door in a way that causes you to hit the door, the driver may be liable for any injuries you suffer as a result of this “dooring.”
While many police officers and angry drivers blame the bicycle rider for not getting out of the way of the door, the Florida Statutes (Section 316.2005, F.S.) specifically state that no person shall open a door into traffic without first making sure it is reasonably safe to do so. It is important to note that often times it is not the driver who opens his door into a bike lane but a passenger. Sometimes it is a passenger in a taxicab. These scenarios can present complex legal issues, and every situation is different. You should contact a personal injury lawyer who regularly handles these types of dooring cases to discuss the facts of your particular situation.
Pedestrians should also be extra cautious this Fourth of July Weekend. Many people who have had too much to drink or who are not familiar with the area will be on the roads. Please do not assume that because you are at a crosswalk and have the right of way, cars will stop for you. Drunk drivers and people looking at GPS devices will be distracted and have slower reaction times. Even though it may take you a little longer to get where you are going, we urge you to stay safe this holiday weekend and wait for the street to be clear of oncoming traffic before crossing.
With school out for the year, we will see more teens on the road than at any other time of the year. The National Safety Council calls this period the 100 deadliest days for teen traffic fatalities. Many of these teens simply lack the proper experience and level of maturity to safely operate a vehicle. Many teen drivers will be texting on their cellphones when they should be paying attention to the road. There are local and national efforts to curb teen driver accidents. But, in the meantime, walkers and bike riders should be extra careful around teen drivers. You may have the right of way, but you should still do what you can to avoid being injured.
If you are involved in an accident while walking or riding your bike, you should call the police or have some call for you. Take photographs if you can safely do so, and seek medical attention immediately.
Call Fort Lauder dale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
More Blog Entries:
Report: 2 Pedestrians, 1 Bicyclist Struck Daily in Broward, June 14, 2014, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog