Downtown Fort Lauderdale recently threw a block party for safety awareness. We like it!
It was dubbed “Alert today, alive tomorrow” and helped to raise awareness about bicyclists in our area. According to the Examiner, it was all a part of safety efforts from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The logo for this event couldn’t have been more fitting either. It was of a pedestrian crossing a “dangerous” intersection, facing an aggressive car. It’s so fitting because it’s a scene we see here in South Florida all too often.
As our Vero Beach bicycle accident lawyers have recently discussed, Florida has been deemed the most dangerous state in the country for bicycle safety time and time again. According to a recent report from Transportation for America, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area is ranked as the fourth most dangerous metro area in the entire U.S. As a matter of fact, the state of Florida holds all spots for the top 4 most dangerous areas in the country for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The U.S. Department of Health and the U.S. Department of Transportation recently conducted a study to further their findings regarding these dangerous trends. The study looked at lifestyles of more than 55 million people around the country. More than 25 percent of residents over the age of 15 say that they ride bicycles for exercise, more than 40 percent say they ride them for their health reasons and more than 35 percent say they riding for recreational purposes.
With all of these riders, we’re seeing an increase in accidents. Gas prices are remaining stagnantly high and residents are looking for a way to travel without breaking the bank. That’s where bicycles are coming in.
What many drivers aren’t aware of is a little known rule that requires motor vehicles to remain at least 3 feet away from bicyclists and pedestrians along our roadways.
Although motor vehicles may no longer be king of the road, seemingly outnumbered in some areas by bicycles, they still overpower us with their size, weight and strength. It’s time for bicyclists to reclaim the roadways and make the fight for safety. That’s where the recent “Alert today, alive tomorrow” came in to play. Motorists are asked to keep an eye out for these travelers while bicyclists are asked to make their presence known and reclaim their rights!
Pedestrians are fighting this same battle, too!
From 2000 to 2009, there were close to 500 people killed while walking through Broward County. In this area, more than 21 percent of all total traffic fatalities recorded during this time were of pedestrians.
Drivers are asked to be on the lookout. Keep an eye out for bicyclists and pedestrians. They’ve got a right to travel safely. Let’s work together, raise awareness and work to preserve these rights.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed 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:
Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents in South Florida on the Rise, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, December 7, 2012