Given the beautiful weather in Florida, it seems like a no-brainer that riding a bicycle around Orlando should be a great way to get outdoors and get some exercise; unfortunately, that is not the case. In fact, Florida is routinely determined to be the most dangerous state in the country in terms of cycling fatalities, with well over 100 of the 840 fatal cycling accidents occurring nationally in 2016, and Orlando proving to be no small part of the danger. In fact, Orlando reported 149 fatal accidents involving cyclists in 2018. These alarming statistics are a clear indication of why it is so important to understand your rights if you are involved in an accident while cycling in Orlando.
Contact Us Now For a Free Consultation
The team at Fasig | Brooks offers free initial consultations to victims of cycling accidents so that we can discuss the accident and injuries in great detail while learning more about how we can work together. We understand that this time in your life is likely overwhelming, which is why we pride ourselves on handling cases with care and compassion. We want you to focus on your recovery while we are fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Read more below about bicycle accidents in Orlando, and contact us now to schedule your initial consultation so that we can fight for your rights together.
Why Is Florida So Dangerous For Bicycle Accidents?
This is a question that many people struggle to answer, and even as new Florida Statutes have introduced legislation intended to create safer roads for cyclists and pedestrians, the fact still stands that Florida is a particularly dangerous state for non-drivers. There are a variety of factors, each and while every accident may not have each of these factors, the following are some very common reasons for cycling crashes and fatalities in Florida.
Congestion is a major contributing factor to many accidents on Florida roads, including cycling accidents. When a driver is trying to navigate a congested street, they are prone to making lane changes, sudden speed adjustments, and may be more irritated than usual. When someone decides to change lanes in traffic, they may not pay close attention to their blind spots where a cyclist can easily be obscured from view, leading to an accident.
Distracted driving is a major problem all across the world, and is a particular danger to bicycles and motorcycles since they take up so little space in a driver’s overall range of vision. Distractions include the obvious things like texting and driving, using a GPS, or changing a radio station, but distracted driving goes beyond these and can include things like a wandering mind. In fact, many people report eating in their car, which is a major distraction that takes their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road at the same time.
Dangerous Road Designs
Even if every driver in Florida avoided distractions and meticulously obeyed every traffic law, there would still be a high risk for cycling accidents simply because of the way our roads are designed. Unlike New York City, Amsterdam, and many other cities, Orlando does not have protected bike lanes or dedicated areas and traffic signals for cyclists. There is a national initiative called Vision Zero that is working to improve these dangerous designs, but the fixes are costly and resource-heavy.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
The injuries that a cyclist may suffer after an accident are as unique as the accident itself and depend on a variety of factors including things like the speed and direction of the impact, the size of the vehicle, the way that the rider hit the ground, and more. However, some types of injuries are more common than others in cycling accidents.
A bone fractures when it encounters a force that causes the bone to break apart, whether by bending, direct impact, or crushing. Fractures are very common in cycling accidents for many reasons, beginning with the initial impact between the cyclist and the vehicle, but the secondary impacts of hitting the ground also create many risks of fractures, as well. When falling, many cyclists instinctually put their arms in front to block their fall, which could result in broken wrists or arms.
Whiplash is a common injury after any sort of impact and happens when the head rapidly jerks forward, down, and back in an “S” motion that causes the soft tissues to pull and tear. Most often, a whiplash injury requires rest and support to keep the neck stationary while recovering, but in serious cases, a victim may require surgery in order to recover from this type of injury.
Bruising occurs when the capillaries and surficial blood vessels are damaged in an impact, leading to dark yellow, green, blue, or purple discoloration and extreme sensitivity as the blood vessels repair themselves. Oftentimes a bruise will fix itself, but in either case, they require medical attention to ensure that it is not an indication of any other issues.
Road rash is the colloquial term for the abrasion injuries that a cyclist sustains when they hit the pavement after a collision (or after any fall onto the pavement). Depending on the severity of the injury, road rash can cause permanent scarring and nerve damage and is highly prone to infection while healing. In serious cases, road rash may require skin grafting to facilitate recovery.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are serious, and sometimes life-threatening, no matter how clear or obvious they may be. This is why they are known as “silent killers,” and why if you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered from even a minor head injury that the injury is examined by a medical professional. Symptoms of a TBI can include, but are not limited to, headaches, blurred vision, memory recall issues, irritability, unstable emotions, seizures, brain death, and may be fatal.
Recklessness or Negligence Can Lead to Bicycle Accidents
If you have been hit by a car while riding your bike, one of the first things to consider is whether or not the driver was acting recklessly or negligently leading up to the collision. If they were ignoring traffic laws and your right of way on the road, then this is a strong indication that they were acting in a way that holds them liable for your injuries and financial damages. As your representative law firm, Fasig | Brooks will work tirelessly to ensure that we prove that they acted negligently before we begin working to calculate the damages that you are entitled to as a victim.
Contact us as soon as possible so that we can begin working on your case today. You will benefit from having these legal stresses taken off of your plate so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries, and we are happy to give you confidence in a positive outcome.