Clearwater bicycle accidents are more dangerous than other car accidents because the rider does not have the protection of a car. The cyclist does not have a seatbelt or airbags, and can easily be thrown from the bike if they are hit by a motor vehicle. Injuries tend to be more severe in an accident involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle. That is why it is important to wear a helmet and protective gear and to ride defensively when on a bicycle in Clearwater. Even though motor vehicles are supposed to yield to cyclists, at times drivers may not be paying attention.
A bicycle accident can seemingly come out of nowhere. With a bicycle accident, there is a chance that the cyclist could sustain fatal injuries. Although bicycle accidents are often the fault of negligent drivers, cyclists can minimize the risk of getting into an accident and getting injured, by following Clearwater bicycle helmet and traffic laws. However, if you have followed these laws and have still been the victim of a bicycle accident, you should consult with a qualified bicycle accident attorney who can fight for you.
Importance of Helmets
Helmets can be very important in Clearwater bicycle accidents because when there is a motor vehicle versus bicycle accident, the person riding a bicycle does not have the protection of a car around it. A properly-fastened helmet is of the only things that protect the cyclist. Wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle can help prevent traumatic brain injuries and other harm that can come to a person involved in a bicycle accident.
Under What Circumstances May a Person Not Wear a Helmet?
The state laws in Florida do not require an adult to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, but there are some states that require people under 21 to wear helmets. Clearwater bicycle helmet and traffic laws suggest that children under 21 should wear helmets, but they do not get ticketed or fined if they are not wearing a helmet.
A bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and fastened securely upon the passenger’s head by a strap that meets the federal safety standards for bicycle helmets.
Ways Not Wearing a Helmet Can Impact a Case
Even if there is no state law in Florida requiring a person to wear a helmet, defense attorneys often argue that the cyclist’s decision to not wear a helmet is contributory negligence, meaning that it contributed to their injuries. In cases where a person sustains a traumatic brain injury, attorneys representing the insurance company may fight to avoid compensating the injured rider if they did not wear a helmet.
In Clearwater bicycle accidents where the rider was not wearing a helmet, the defense and the insurance company will argue that it was not reasonably prudent to ride a bicycle without a helmet and that the rider should have abided by Clearwater bike helmet and traffic laws. If the jury agrees, the injured cyclist could be found contributorily negligent for their injuries. For this reason, cyclists should wear a helmet not only for their safety, but to strengthen their legal case should they be involved in an accident with a car.
The number of wheels a cycle has is not as important as whether the vehicle is motorized. Riders of motorized bicycles may be required to wear a helmet, depending on how fast their cycle can go. If the cycle has three wheels, it may be considered more reasonable to not wear a helmet while riding because it is less likely that a person will fall off. In the case of an accident, the rider may be able to argue that they were not negligent in not wearing a helmet because the vehicle is more stable than a bicycle.
Clearwater Traffic Laws
Bicyclists must follow similar traffic laws to pedestrians in Florida, such as using crosswalks, staying in the bicycle lane if there is one, and riding with traffic. A person should wear a helmet even when there is no statute or a law that requires it. It is considered reasonable and prudent to wear a helmet while a person is riding a bicycle. By following Clearwater bicycle helmet and traffic laws, and general rules of safety, a cyclist incurs less risk and, the argument of negligence on the rider’s end, will not hold as much weight.
If a person is cycling across a four lane highway when there is no crosswalk, that is negligent on their part, but motor vehicles are still required to yield to that person. If an individual does cause an accident riding across four lanes of traffic, both the cyclist and the driver could be considered negligent. Anyone riding a bicycle still has to follow the bicycle and traffic laws in Florida, and if that person does not, a jury might find that their negligence contributed to whatever injuries that person sustained as a result of a motor vehicle versus bicycle accident.
Clearwater Bicycle Laws
In Florida, it is legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk. Cyclists on Florida sidewalks must follow the same rules as pedestrians. Bicyclists should use crosswalks and ride in bicycle lanes where they are available. When cycling on the road, cyclists must follow the same traffic laws as automobiles. This includes hand signaling or using turn signals on bikes equipped with them, as well as staying within the lines of lane bicycle lanes and yielding to pedestrians.
Benefit of a Lawyer
A bicyclist can do their best to abide by Clearwater bicycle helmet and traffic laws, and still get into a bicycle accident. The resultant injuries can bring about unanticipated medical costs, as well which is why it is important to seek legal counsel and see what your options are.
If you have been hit by a bicycle and have sustained injuries, please get in contact with a lawyer. A skilled personal injury can advocate for you, and make sure that your rights are being protected.