Tampa Bicycle Accident Attorney
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that in 2016, 126 people were killed in motor vehicle vs. bicycle accidents. More than 6,000 bicyclists were reported injured in this same time frame. The most common type of Tampa bicycle accidents we see are motorists causing collisions with bicycles include the following:
- Failure to yield when turning left at an intersection
- Cutting off a bicyclist when turning right
- Rolling stop or proceeding from stop sign without looking
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Pulling out or backing out from a parking lot, side street or driveway
- Clipping or bumping people in crosswalks
- Sideswiping or rear-ending bicycles on the street
- Drifting into a bicyclist, walker or jogger on the shoulder of a road
To help promote bicycle safety, your Tampa Bicycle Accident Attorneys remind riders that it is important be aware of other statutory provisions set out in Section 316.2065, Florida Statutes:
- When operated on a roadway, a bike is considered a “vehicle” and the cyclist is the “operator” of a vehicle. The cyclist must follow the same traffic rules as the operator of a vehicle as well as those rules applicable to a cyclist. However, when on a sidewalk, a cyclist is considered a “pedestrian”, and must follow the same rules as that of a pedestrian as well as those rules applicable to a cyclist.
- Cyclists under the 16 years of age must wear a helmet. Fastened. Yes, it is a battle, but make your teens and ‘tweens wear them. In fact, should a child be injured in a cycling accident, Section 316.2065(19) provides that the failure of a parent to allow a child to ride without a helmet may be considered evidence of the negligence or contributory negligence of that parent.
- When a roadway has a marked bike lane, cyclists must use it. If there is no marked bike lane, then the cyclist must ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb. Or if on a one-way street with two or more traffic lanes, ride as close to the left-hand edge as possible.
- If riding between sunset and sunrise: cyclists must use a front light showing a white light which can be seen from at least 500 feet; and on the rear, a reflector showing a red light visible from at least 600 feet.
- On a roadway, a cyclist must ride with traffic. Statistics show that riding the wrong way into oncoming traffic accounts for 15% of bike-vehicle collisions. It has to do with a vehicle driver not expecting traffic. Whether bike or vehicle, approaching from the wrong direction.
- However, when on a sidewalk, since a cyclist is considered a “pedestrian,” the cyclist can ride in either direction.
- When riding on a sidewalk, cyclists must obey pedestrian intersection crossing signals. So yes, you need to wait for the crossing light to change to green.
- Cyclists cannot use ear buds, headphones or other listening devices, other than a hearing aid. Although not specified in the statutes, it could be argued that this includes a prohibition against the use of cell phones.
- Cyclists cannot ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, just as the operator of a vehicle cannot do so. However, because a driver’s license is not required to ride a bike, the requirement to submit to a breath test does not apply to a cyclist. Further, open containers of alcoholic beverages are prohibited while riding.
- Violations of this statute are considered noncriminal traffic infractions, subject to a fine of up to $500.00.