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Late night hit-and-run reflects danger of South Florida bicycle accidents

A 49-year-old man remains at Bayfront Medical Center with life-threatening injuries after being struck while riding his bicycle by a car that left the scene. The cyclist was riding on the street but was thrown to the sidewalk where he hit his head on a light pole base, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

In 2009, almost four percent of all traffic fatalities across the state involved Florida bicycle accidents, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports. There were 99 bicycle accident fatalities and 4,376 cyclists were injured.
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Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties were the three most dangerous counties in 2009 for cyclists, claiming 33 lives and leaving 1,292 riders injured. For the same region in 2008 there were 25 fatal bicycling accidents and 1,304 injured cyclists.

The Florida Bicycle Association offers a few simple tips that can help decrease your chances of getting in a South Florida bicycle accident:
~ Know how to ride. Just being able to start, stop and turn without falling or running into other cyclists cuts your risk of injury in half.

~ Obey traffic laws, signs and signals like all vehicles on the road are supposed to do. That includes using lanes correctly and using lights to make your ride visible when it’s dark.

~ Be conspicuous when sharing the road with four-wheeled vehicles. Telegraph your intent to fellow drivers. Communicate using eye contact and hand signals.

~ Be defensive and proactive. Stay off your cell phone and leave your headset at home. Pay attention to what is going on around you and watch for road hazards (like potholes).

~ Wear a helmet and gloves. While these may not help you avoid a crash, they can reduce the severity of your injuries.

The Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident attorneys at Freeman & Mallard have been successfully and aggressively representing cycling accident victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie for years. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368.

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