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Bicyclists Hit by Car Doors – What Are Their Rights?

Posted by Chris Burns in Florida Bicycle Laws, on .

One of the most common bicycle accidents, caused by careless motorists, is when a cyclist is “doored” or hit by a car door. This typically happens where the cyclist is riding next to parallel parking, and an occupant of the parked car suddenly flings open a car door into the path of the cyclist. Such accidents are particularly prevalent in highly populated cities, where parallel parking is also pervasive.  In fact, the Urban Dictionary provides a succinct definition of “dooring” – “to crash into and/or over a driver's side door(of a vehicle) while riding your bike”.

Bicycle Crashes on Sidewalks with Motorists

Posted by Chris Burns in Florida Bicycle Laws, on .

One of the most prevalent bicycle crash scenarios is where the bicyclist is impacted on the sidewalk or crosswalk, while the motorist is trying to pull out of a driveway. Motorists recurrently seem blind to cyclists moving on a sidewalk or crosswalk, and many police officers are oblivious to the rights of cyclists to use the sidewalk.

11 Steps to Protect Your Rights After a Bicycle Crash

Posted by Chris Burns in Florida Bicycle Laws, on .

Most of the time, riding a bike brings beauty, independence, joy, and healthy living.  Rarely, bicycling can turn into disappointment or worse, tragedy. People who ride bicycles are in the midst of traffic which is massively bigger and heavier than the cyclists and their equipment.  Trucks, cars, SUVs – they are sometimes operated by drivers who have little concern for us.  We cyclists are largely unprotected, except for our helmets and the thinnest layer of clothing, and with hope that motorists will operate their vehicles safely with us in mind.

Bicycle Medical Bills - Who Pays What?

Posted by Chris Burns in Florida Bicycle Laws, on .

You are riding your bicycle. Suddenly a car, or a bus, or a trash truck, or maybe a motorcycle pulls directly into your path. You cannot elude the vehicle – you suffer a collision. You need to go to the hospital or be evaluated by a doctor. You live in Florida. How are the medical bills supposed to be paid?  What if you don’t have health insurance?

Florida Law Should be Revised to Help Bicyclists

Posted by Chris Burns in Florida Bicycle Laws, on .

There are certain types of bicycle crashes in Florida in which police officers misunderstand or ignore the laws which apply.  In some situations, police officers may be uninformed or unaware of a key law designed to promote safety in bicycling.  In other instances, police have blamed their lack of enforcement by saying the law is too vague.     

Distracted Driving and Bicycle Accidents

Posted by Chris Burns in Cycling Advocacy, Cycling Safety Tips, Florida Bicycle Laws, on .

Did you know distracted driving injures and kills a large number of cyclists?  That numbers are increasing?  In 2013, Public Health Reports published an study analyzing pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. While motor vehicle fatality rates have decreased in the U.S. in the past five years, rates of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities have risen. And the incidence of bicyclists being killed by distracted driving accidents has gone through the roof – it has increased 30% in only 5 years.  Another interesting fact – most cyclists were killed during day light hours, while the majority of pedestrians were killed at night.

Police Officers Need Better Bicycle Training

Posted by Chris Burns in Florida Bicycle Laws, on .

Police Officers must enforce traffic laws. But how effective are police officers at enforcing bicycle laws?  Many experts believe enforcement of bicycle laws is extremely poor around the country. In part, this is because most officers never receive training on bicycle specific laws. Many bicycle laws are designed to improve the safety of cyclists; yet, law enforcement does not understand or enforce these laws.