In Florida, like many parts of the world, cycling is considered to be a healthy and convenient way of traveling around town. It is, however, possible to sustain serious injuries while riding a bike. 

There are countless accidents involving cars and bicycles in West Palm Beach every year. Usually, the bicyclists sustain more severe injuries than the motorists since they are not protected by seat belts, air bags, and other safety features. If this happens to you, the best people to talk to are the West Palm Beach injury lawyers at our law firm.

ARE DRIVERS AT FAULT IN BICYCLE ACCIDENT CASES?

Both bicyclists and motorists can be held liable for bicycle accidents. But the majority of bicycle accidents that occur in Florida are caused by negligent driving. 

 

A driver has a legal duty to ensure that they drive safely to avoid harming other users of the road, including bicyclists. Failing to fulfill this legal duty is considered negligence. If the driver injures a bicyclist as a result of a failure to fulfill this legal obligation, they could be held liable for the bicyclist’s injuries. 

WHAT ARE THE COMMON CAUSES OF BICYCLE ACCIDENTS IN FLORIDA?

As previously mentioned, negligent driving is one of the leading causes of bicycle accidents. Negligent driving can take on many forms, including:

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS 

Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs can affect a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. They may not see everything in front of them or be able to safely judge distances when stopping, making turns, or passing bicyclists on the road. 

TURNING DANGEROUSLY

Some drivers turn suddenly at an intersection when a cyclist is quickly approaching them from behind.  If the cyclist isn’t careful, they might run directly into the car. The cyclist can even crash into the car if the driver has miscalculated the speed of the bicycle. There is little time for the cyclist to stop or get out of the way, so this situation often leads to a tragic outcome.

PASSING ERRORS

A cyclist only needs a small space to move around on the road. Despite this, many drivers still will not give cyclists enough space to safely maneuver. If a car is driving too closely to a cyclist, the driver may accidentally side-swipe the cyclist with their car’s side mirror. This may not seem like a major accident, but the force of this impact could send the cyclist into traffic or push them off of their bike.

DRIVING IN DESIGNATED BICYCLE LANES

This is another cause of conflict between cyclists and drivers. Drivers are often too aggressive in approaching bicycle lanes. This can either scare the cyclist or cause a collision between the two. It’s best if drivers respect the lanes designated for cyclists. 

OPENING DOORS WITHOUT CHECKING FOR CYCLISTS

This commonly happens when the car is parked. If a driver opens the door without checking for cyclists, a cyclist that is quickly approaching might run straight into the opened car door. This could have been prevented by checking for cyclists, especially when the car is parked parallel to the road. All the driver would have to do is look at their mirror and wait until the cyclist has passed before opening their car door. 

TALK TO AN ATTORNEY AFTER A BICYCLE ACCIDENT

If you are ever involved in an accident as a cyclist and the other party was to blame, you have the right to demand compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation with a West Palm Beach injury lawyer to find out your legal rights after a bicycle accident.