Drivers, Pedestrians, and Cyclists All Have ResponsibilitiesIt’s obvious that drivers on Florida roads have a responsibility to pay attention and take steps to prevent accidents on the road, but cyclists and pedestrians also have some accountability. It’s important to always be alert when you’re walking near or riding a bike on a road. That being said, even when you have safety as a primary factor in your commute, other individuals behind the wheel of a car or truck might not. Given that injuries from an accident involving a bicycle and a vehicle can be disastrous, it is usually the pedestrian or the cyclist who pays the highest price in an accident. A driver inside a vehicle has the benefit of technology like seat belts and airbags. Even with safety gear used while riding your bike, you’re automatically exposed to higher levels of risk. Learn more about bicycle accident accident statistics here.
Who Counts as a Pedestrian?Florida laws specifically define rights and responsibilities for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicle operators throughout Florida. Here are some of the most important facts you should be aware of in light of this:
- An individual on foot is classified as a pedestrian, including individuals on roller blades or in a wheelchair. Drivers have to treat all pedestrians as having the right of way where applicable.
- A pedestrian should not walk on the road where sidewalks are provided.
- A pedestrian is allowed to walk on the road facing oncoming traffic where sidewalks have not been provided. Facing oncoming traffic makes it easier to avoid an accident as a pedestrian can see the vehicles traveling in his or her direction.
- A cyclist is not classified as a pedestrian as it relates to these laws, because cyclists are required to travel on the right side of the road.
Also Read : The facts on auto vs bicycle accidents
What Are the Laws for Bicyclists?Individuals on bicycles have the same responsibilities and rights as any motor vehicle driver in Florida. A cyclist has to stop at signals and traffic signs and generally observe traffic laws. Riding at night means using reflectors and lights, and a cyclist should always be aware of staying as close as possible to the right side of the road. A cyclist also has to yield the right of way to pedestrians. If the individual riding a bike has violated any of the laws in an accident, he or she could be held partially at fault in a situation like this. In this circumstance, though, the individual may still have the right to get damages back from a lawsuit. Also Read : Safety and legal tips for Palm Beach Bicyclists
What I’m Injured Outside of a Crash?Maybe the car that caused the accident never came in physical contact with you. Many people believe the myth that the motor vehicle and the cyclist have to have physical contact in order to file a lawsuit. This is not necessarily true. There are many circumstances where you may have had to take action to avoid an accident, and this end up suffering from injuries. The motorist who caused this to happen could be held liable in a claim, so you should consult with a West Palm Beach bicycle accident attorney to determine whether or not this is true for you.
Who Might Be Liable?The other driver alone might not be the only party who might be responsible. You might have multiple claims, and this is why you need an attorney who is comfortable investigating all aspects of the accident in order to fight for the best outcome for you. Some of the at-fault parties might include:
- The city or county responsible for maintaining the roads where a hazardous condition existed
- Truck drivers
- Manufacturers or retailers of bicycles, accessories, or parts, if these were defective
- Negligent mechanics or repair shops