South Florida Bicycle Safety – There is more to worry about than Cars
South Florida has had an alarming number of bicycle accidents in the last ten years. The rise in bicycle accidents can be attributed to many factors including the increasing number of bicyclist and the increase in traffic congestion. Unfortunately, the South Florida infrastructure has not kept pace with the increase demand by cyclist and motorists.
A misconception of bicycle accidents is that all accident involve a collision with a vehicle. In addition to the dangers associated with sharing roadways with vehicles, bicyclist encounter unknown dangers in the form of poorly maintained roads, uneven roadways, and improperly designed roadways. When a bicyclist crosses an unpaved road or uneven road, his ability to control his bike is diminished and they are exposed to serious and permanent physical injuries.
As Miami bicycle attorneys we had the opportunity last year to represent two young adults who suffered serious injuries in two separate bicycle accidents.
The first case involved a local high school athletic director who had participated in multiple triathlons. During his triathlon training he was riding his bicycle on the Rickenbacker Causeway. The Rickenbacker Causeway had recently undergone major resurfacing project but was open to the public for use. As our client road his bike, he hit an uneven portion of the roadway and was thrown from his bike suffering injuries which required multiple surgeries. Through extensive discovery it was found that the resurfacing project had been completed with the uneven pavement completely disguised by white stripping. The cause of his fall was the uneven pavement and did not involve any vehicles. As a result we were able to reach a confidential settlement with the contractor of the project.
The second case involved a social worker who was riding her bike home from her local coffee shop in Coral Gables, Florida. As she crossed the intersection of Lejuene Avenue and Alhambra Circle, she was struck by a car making a left turn. As a result of the impact she was thrown to the ground suffering severe facial and closed head injuries. Although we settled for a confidential amount with the driver of the vehicle, an issue that came to light during our investigation was the lack of a bike path and improper lighting at the intersection.
Halpern, Santos & Pinkert, P.A. has extensive history in handling accident cases, including bicycle accidents. Our experience allows us to know first hand the obstacles and dangers that can transform an enjoyable bike ride into tragedy.