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What every bicyclist should know: helpful tips for the road

On June 23, 2012, University of Florida student Rebecca Harris was seriously injured after she was hit by a motorist who fled the scene. Rebecca Harris was riding her bicycle early in the morning across Southwest 16th Avenue in Gainesville, Florida. Accidents involving cars and bicycles are unfortunately common in cities with large cyclist populations such as Gainesville.

We read tragic reports about such incidents in our local newspapers, unable to alter the circumstances of the accident so as to prevent the crash from happening in the first place. It is important for bicyclists who ride at night or in the early hours of the morning to be aware of the potential danger posed by the drivers with whom they share the road, and to take preventative measures to avoid an accident.

When riding at night, bicyclists should do the following to avoid injury:
• Be extra vigilant of the sights, sounds, and movements of cars on the road, as it can be difficult to see at night.
• Wear safety equipment (such as reflective clothing and helmets) to increase their visibility to motorists while riding.
• Install rear and front lights on their bicycles so that cars can see them on the road from a distance.
• Use sidewalks if no bicycle lane is available.

It is important to remember to take precautionary steps when riding during hours of limited visibility, as bicycle accidents tend to involve more significant injuries since cyclists are not protected by a metal vehicle.

Also, at fault drivers are increasingly fleeing the scene of accidents—especially when they are intoxicated (and attempting to avoid getting charged with a DUI with significant injuries or in some DUI cases, manslaughter).

If you ever witness this type of accident and are capable of safely following the person who is fleeing the scene, do so, but only after calling 911. Also make sure that the victim has someone there to help, so they are not left unattended.

At the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller, we accept personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis, meaning you would owe us neither legal fees nor costs unless we recover money damage for you—thus, there is no up front cost to you for us to handle the case. In addition to personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases, our firm also handles lawsuits involving divorce, custody battles, domestic violence injunctions, will and probate matters, and criminal defense cases. Our firm has offices in Gainesville, Ocala, Chiefland, Lake City, Palatka, Jacksonville, Daytona, Palm Coast, St. Augustine, Orlando, Kissimmee, Lake Mary, and Melbourne.

If you or a family member has been seriously injured or died in a bicycle accident, car crash, tire failure crash, rollover or other incident or as the result of someone else’s negligence or malpractice, contact the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller for a free phone consultation at (866) 496-8752 or via email at Info@ForYourLaw.com

BY: Monica Perez-McMillen, Attorney at Law

July 11, 2012
 
 
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