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Bike-Sharing Program Plans in Miami – Beware Accident Risks

According to a recent European study, there are bicyclists being killed in traffic accidents because drivers aren’t stopping for red lights or otherwise obeying a riders right-of-way.

This study goes against previous reports that pointed the finger at the bicyclists, saying that they’re own behaviors were the cause of most accidents.

According to The Guardian, some of the top causes for cyclist accidents were red-light runners and distractions. The information, analyzed by Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), showed that about 25 percent of cyclists deaths happen when a vehicle slams into the back of a bicycle. Our Miami bicycle accident lawyers understand that many of these accidents could have been prevented, too. With the popularity of bicycling in the area, we need to take the necessary steps to help keep these vulnerable travelers safe.

With adult bicyclists, drivers were responsible for these accidents about 75 percent of the time.

Researchers say that transportation officials need to focus more on driver’s behavior and less on helmets and bicyclists. The report even went as far as saying that universal helmet use only saves about 10 to 15 lives a year.

“The main cause of crashes seems to be ‘failed to look properly’, whereas very few cyclists are injured or killed acting illegally, such as failing to use lights at night or disobeying traffic signals,” said a study researcher, Chris Peck.

It looks like the risks are going to get a whole lot worse, too. According to The Miami Herald, Miami commissioners are putting down the groundwork for the area’s new bicycle-sharing program. A panel voted 3-0 to give approval to an ordinance that would allow advertising on the side of the planned rental stations. As it stood, advertising is illegal on city-owned property as well as in the public right-of-way.

Officials think that with the advertising, they will be able to better fund the program.

“Our program is intended to be revenue generating for the city and to be self-sustaining,” said Albert Sosa, director of capital improvements.

Now, all commissioners have to do it finalize the program.

Marc Sarnof, Vice Chairman, has asked that the advertisements be discreet. He said he has no plans on approving the ordinance if it allows large panels to be put on the kiosks. He says that the City of Miami needs to practice its regulations and know when to say “Stop!”

These programs can be successful, like they have in Palm Beach and Broward counties as well as on Miami Beach. We just need everyone’s cooperation to make sure they’re safe, too!

With the plan to bring in more bicyclists, we can expect more of the eco-friendly travel. With more of these two-wheeled travelers, we can expect an increase in the risks for these kinds of accidents. It’s important that drivers, bike-sharing program or not, keep a lookout for these vulnerable travelers. Take that extra second before making a move in traffic to look for our two-wheeled friends!

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

More Blog Entries:

Bicycle Rally for Safety in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, January 17, 2013

Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents in South Florida on the Rise
, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, December 7, 2012

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