Young Cyclist’s Injury Reminds Drivers to Stay Alert for Children Sharing the Road

May 10, 2012 Posted by in Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents and Safety

With the longer days, warmer weather and approaching summer vacation, our South Florida accident attorneys ask drivers to stay alert for bikers and pedestrians on the roads. We especially ask that drivers be alert for children as they stay outside longer, often still walking or riding their bikes at dusk when visibility is reduced.

A 12-year-old Bronson, Florida boy is in critical condition after being struck by a car while he rode his bicycle along the side of the road Sunday evening around 7 o’clock p.m., according to the Gainesville Sun. The driver of the vehicle went around two other bicyclists, but the sun was in the driver’s eyes as she approached the boy. She struck the bike from behind, throwing the boy from the bike.

According to the NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more children are admitted to the emergency room with biking injuries than any other accident. In fact, over one-fifth of all bicyclist fatalities occur among children who are 5 to 15 years of age.

Children often get caught up in the excitement of riding their bikes and are not always alert to what is going on around them – making it more likely for them to dart into traffic or swerve into the roadway. Furthermore, children expect adults and others to watch out for them, leading them to take more risks when riding their bikes in and around traffic.

The NHTSA points out the following types of motor vehicle crashes with bicyclists as the most common:

  • Motorist overtaking or passing a bicyclist. This accident happens most frequently at night and on narrow roadways.
  • Bicyclist is riding the wrong way. Bikers must ride with the flow of traffic, and when cyclists ride the wrong direction motorists are often surprised.
  • Bicyclist comes from alley or driveway. This is the most frequent type of bicycle/vehicle accident. The sudden appearance of a bicyclist from an alleyway or driveway may not leave a motorist with time to react.
  • Bicyclist makes left turn or suddenly swerves. A biker may swerve to avoid an obstacle or may make a quick turn without signaling. Drivers should closely watch the road ahead to anticipate bikers’ moves.
  • Bicyclist fails to stop at stop sign. As with all vehicles on the roadway, bikers must obey stop signs to limit the potential for accidents.

Florida’s Traffic Crash Statistics Report for 2010 reports 76 bicyclists were killed in 4,925 total bicycle accidents in 2010. The number of bicyclists killed in crashes has steadily declined since 2006, with 124 bicyclists fatally injured that year. However, the number injured has risen from 4,227 in ’06 to 4,600 this year.

Our South Florida car accident attorneys ask that parents do their part to ensure their young cyclists are safe on the Florida roadways. Make sure they always wear a helmet and have them back home and off their bikes before dark.

Just last month we offered information on how the state legislature is focusing on bicycling safety across the state. Now, we ask that motorists do their part as well by staying alert and focused in residential and rural areas where bikers are more common.

About Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney

The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, has provided professional and compassionate legal assistance to personal injury and accident victims in South Florida and the Treasure Coast since 1975. The firm’s practice areas include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, product liability, dog bite injuries, swimming pool accidents, slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice, and wrongful death claims.

Our law firm represents victims of car accidents across South Florida, including Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Stuart, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Vero Beach and Palm Beach, and throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast. Call 1-800-299-8878 now to speak with a Florida car accident attorney or fill out our online contact form.

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