When a bicycle accident claims the life of a biker, the family is often left with terrible grief, mounting expenses, and a persistent question: Could this accident have been prevented, but for the negligent act of another?
Bicycle accidents claim about ninety lives in Florida each year. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), Florida sees about 4,000 bicycle accidents each year. Most are non-fatal, making a deadly bicycle accident a devastating occurrence.
Wearing a bicycle helmet is an easy way to reduce the risk of death in a bicycle accident, but it doesn’t guarantee survival, especially when an accident is severe. For instance, in 2010, eight bicyclists lost their lives on Florida roads despite wearing bicycle helmets at the time, according to the FLHSMV. Sixty-eight bicyclists who were not wearing helmets also suffered fatal accidents. But, while bicycle helmets help, there may be little a bicyclist can do if the negligence of a driver or another party triggers a dangerous crash.
Causes of Fatal Bicycle Crashes
Another person’s or company’s negligence may cause or contribute to a Florida wrongful death bicycle accident in many ways. First, drivers of motor vehicles might collide with a bicyclist, causing death. Distracted driving is a known source of deadly bicycle accidents in the U.S., and any number of things can cause a distraction: cell phone use, texting, eating, personal grooming, reading maps, or activities going on outside the vehicle may all draw a driver’s attention away from the road for the fateful seconds it takes a fatal bicycle accident to occur. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or extreme fatigue also increases the risk of serious Florida bicycle crashes.
While drivers are an obvious possible factor in a bicycle accident, they are not the only one. A bicycle with a hidden defect may break under the stresses of riding, causing an accident that claims a biker’s life. The defect may be part of the bicycle’s manufacture, design, or in the warnings or lack of warnings that came with the bicycle. It may also have been introduced by botched or neglected maintenance, repairs, or refurbishing of a used bicycle.
Roadway conditions can also cause or contribute to a fatal bicycle crash. Bicyclists may use the public streets in Florida just as cars do, as long as they obey all the same traffic rules as cars. However, this also means that roads need to be kept reasonably safe for bicyclists – including proper uses of street signs, signals, guardrails, and maintenance of road surfaces. If any of these is missing or falls into a state of dangerous disrepair, serious injuries or fatal crashes can result.
Helping Our Clients Obtain Justice
At Farah & Farah, our experienced and compassionate Jacksonville wrongful death attorneys believe that it is essential to seek justice after a negligent act results in an untimely death. We can help you and your family seek the compensation and answers you need, so that you can focus on honoring the memory of your loved one. For a free consultation, contact our office today at 855-797-9899.