Distracted Driving And Bicycle Accidents
According to the CDC, bicyclists are at a higher risk of crash-related injuries as compared to car users. The CDC reports that more than a thousand bicyclists died, and there were more than 400,000 bicycle-related injuries in 2015. Additionally, according to the CDC, adults aged 50 to 59 have the highest bicycle deaths. On the other hand, children and adolescents have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle-related injuries, accounting for over one-third of all bicycle-related injuries in the United States emergency departments.
One of the main causes of bicycle accidents is distracted driving, which generally involves a driver driving while engaging in another activity that takes their attention away from driving. Examples of distracted driving behaviors include, but are not limited to;
- texting while driving
- talking on the phone while driving
- eating while driving
- using a navigation system while driving
While distracted driving endangers the lives of every road user on Florida roads, when drivers are distracted, cyclists may face the greatest risk of injury and even death. Even when distracted drivers are driving at a low speed, they can still cause serious injuries to cyclists, especially if a distracted driving-related accident occurs near an intersection.
Why Are Cyclists More at Risk of Distracted Driving Related Injuries and Deaths?
While every road user who comes across a distracted driver is in danger of distracted driving-related injuries and death, cyclists are at a much greater risk. This is because of several factors, including, but not limited to the ones discussed below:
While it’s true that distracted driving negatively affects a driver’s ability to react on time to avoid an accident, a distracted driver can look up at the last minute and notice a vehicle and be able to prevent an accident from happening. However, because bicycles take up less space on the road, a distracted driver may not notice a cyclist until it’s too late.
Unlike vehicle occupants who are protected by the steel that vehicles are made of, cyclists have very little protection. Helmets and the other safety gear that cyclists wear usually provide limited protection in an accident.
Lack of Barriers
As much as bike lanes exist, motor vehicle lanes and bike lanes are often separated visually but not physically. Because of this, a distracted driver might fail to notice where their lane ends and where a bike lane begins. Also, a distracted driver might swerve into a bike lane because of over-correcting.
Some common collisions that occur on the road, all of which can involve distracted driving, include, but are not limited to;
- Motorists rear-ending cyclists
- Motor vehicles sideswiping bicyclists
- Left-turn accidents
- Right turn accidents
Contact a Parkland Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you have been in a bicycle accident and suspect a distracted driver is to blame for the accident, you need to act fast to protect your rights. One effective way to ensure your rights are protected is to retain a skilled lawyer. For a free consultation with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer, contact the Parkland bicycle accident attorneys at Lyons & Snyder today.