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Summer Cycling: Safety for Motorists and Bikers

Nationwide, cycling is on the rise. Cities are investing in shared bike programs and creating incentives to promote the use of bikes. Cycling has many public health benefits. Not only does it reduce traffic, but it also reduces pollution and gives riders a healthy alternative to sitting in their vehicles.

This summer, as cycling season peaks, drivers as well as cyclists should remember to share the road. Our Fort Lauderdale bike accident attorneys are experienced with cases involving drivers and cyclists and can help you protect your rights in the event of a collision.

In addition to creating bike-share programs, many cities are also redesigning city streets to accommodate cyclists. This has positively impacted the lives of both city and suburban dwellers. You may have seen an increased enthusiasm for cycling in your neighborhood, including a new bike shop or areas closed to vehicles. Public and private parks are also expanding bike lanes to create appeal to cyclists.

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Despite the benefits of having more cyclists on the road, many motorists have become frustrated, even enraged at the behavior of cyclists. There are even residents of some communities that oppose the “pro-biker” stance and see cyclists as rude and ignorant of local road laws that apply to drivers. Some cyclists are known to blow through stop signs, endanger pedestrians, or cut through traffic. In the past few years there have been significant injuries caused by cyclists to pedestrians. In at least one case, a speeding cyclist caused the death of a pedestrian.

Some cities host rides “en masse” that can cause congestion and even create additional hazards to drivers, riders and pedestrians. Many proponents of bike culture claim that drivers will simply have to deal with the fact that there are more cyclists on the road. A shift from motorist to biking culture has also created tension between cycling advocates and motorists as many of the roadways are being converted to accommodate cyclists.

In some cases, cities have invested millions to create bike racks, adjust roadways, and create public awareness campaigns to ensure the safety of cyclists. Bicyclist deaths nationwide have highlighted the need to create awareness and to promote healthy riding habits.

The tension has given rise to road rage on both sides and requires a discussion between groups to ensure long-term safety and well-being. Given the personal and public benefits of biking, motorists should consider that this may be the wave of the future. Similarly, cyclists should remain wary and respectful of the automobile culture to ensure their own safety and establish a mutual understanding while sharing the road.

Bike accidents and injuries can be severe, including broken bones, head injuries, brain damage, paralysis or other permanent injury. Creating mutual respect and awareness between cyclists and drivers can prevent future accidents from occurring.

While there may be some resentment between bikers and drivers, there is no reason why both cannot learn to come together and share the road. If you are a motorist, you should be aware of cyclists on your right. Cyclists should also abide by road laws to ensure safety and to maintain equality between the two camps.

If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Keeping Your Bicycle Fresh and Keeping Child Riders Safe, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, May 10, 2013

Biking Over Driving in South Florida, A Good Choice Made Better, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, May 8, 2013

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