Are there more car or bicycle accidents in Florida? Generally, the US records more motor vehicle accidents than bicycle accidents. However, that doesn’t mean that a bike rider is immune to sustaining injuries in a crash. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 130,000 cyclists are injured in bicycle accidents each year.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle or bike accident, it is important to know what to do. This article will discuss the steps you should take if you get into an accident. It will also explore the course of action you can take to recover compensation whether through an insurance claim or a lawsuit. The best way to ensure that you follow the correct steps after a bicycle accident is to hire Jared Spingarn, P.A., a bicycle accident attorney who is knowledgeable in handling a Florida bicycle accident case.
Traffic Crash Statistics in the US
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) latest report on the number of auto accidents and bicycle accidents in the country was in 2020. According to the NHTSA, there was a total of over 5.25 million motor vehicle crashes in 2020 alone. This number decreased from an estimated 6.75 million crashes in 2019.
However, when looking into the number of fatal crashes, the number increased in 2020. There were 35,766 fatal crashes in 2020 as compared to 33,487 in 2019. Additionally, there were 5.2 million non-fatal crashes in 2020 as compared to 6.7 million in 2019.
Motor Vehicle vs. Bicycle Accidents
Of the total number of motor vehicle crashes, 35% resulted in injuries or fatalities to occupants of a passenger vehicle. In comparison, 20% were bicycle fatalities, although this data also includes pedestrians and bystanders. The data clearly shows that there are more motor vehicle accidents as compared to bicycle accidents in the country.
Traffic Crash Statistics in Florida
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) tracks motor vehicle and bicycle accident statistics in the Sunshine State. In 2020, there was a total of 341,399 crashes for an average of 933 traffic crashes per day. Of the total number of crashes, 3,098 were fatal, registering 3,332 fatalities among drivers, passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, and other bystanders.
In 2020, there were 169 bicyclists killed in Florida due to a bike accident. The number of bicycle fatalities increased compared to 2019, which recorded 156 bicyclists killed. Additionally, 4,815 Florida bicycle riders sustained an injury that was non-incapacitating. The number of injured cyclists that sustained an incapacitating injury was 759.
Car vs. Bicycle Accidents in Florida
Are there more car or bicycle accidents in Florida? The data from the FLHSMV is in line with that of the NHTSA, meaning that there are more auto accidents compared to the number of bicycle accidents in Florida.
Furthermore, car and bicycle accident statistics in the state show that most car and bicycle accidents occur in the following counties: Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach Counties (West Palm Beach), and Broward County (Fort Lauderdale).
The rate of bicycle deaths in Florida is also much higher at 0.75 per 100,000 population compared to the national average of 0.26. A Florida bicycle accident often occurs in urban areas, where there are a lot of drivers and bicyclists sharing the road.
What causes so many traffic accidents?
A Florida bicycle accident happens daily as more people are using bicycles as a primary mode of transportation, taking advantage of the good weather and climate in the state. Bicycles and vehicles that get into an accident not only cause injuries but also mental anguish and emotional distress. Many bicycle accidents occur due to negligent drivers who are not paying attention to the road. The same goes for motor vehicle accidents.
Data from the FLHSMV shows that a Florida bicycle accident that results in personal injury is often caused by distracted drivers, failure to yield right of way, and failure to follow traffic laws such as yielding at stop signs. Bicyclists who ride into the oncoming traffic are more at risk of getting into a bike accident.
In Florida, motorists must be aware of bicyclists sharing the road with them. Although cyclists are required to ride on the bike lane, they also have the right to use the road if the area they are in has no designated bike path. In cases like this, many drivers do not know that bicycles have the same rights to use the road as them. This unawareness can cause a bike accident that leads to personal injury claims or lawsuits.
Most accidents can lead to a pile-up of medical expenses and lost wages. Most drivers try to recover from a bike accident through insurance, but this is not the only means to do so. It is best to get a free consultation from a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn, P.A. to know how to proceed.
What are the common injuries in bike accidents?
As mentioned, a Florida bicycle accident can happen at any time and may lead to the following common injuries:
- Minor injuries are defined as non-incapacitating injuries. Bicyclists involved in bicycle crashes may sustain cuts, abrasions, and muscle or neck pain.
- Serious or severe injuries are incapacitating injuries. This means that bicyclists who are involved in more serious bike accidents would need immediate medical treatment. These injuries include broken bones or fractures, loss of function, and traumatic head injuries.
Car Insurance Laws by State
In the US, cars are required to have insurance in most states. The insurance protects the motorist in case they get into any type of accident such as a car vs. bike accident. The required minimum for an insurance policy differs per state and an insurance company can help you get the correct plan that you need.
As cars are required to have insurance, motorists who travel in their vehicles without an insurance policy may be found to be violating the law. The minimum policy that an insurance company will offer usually includes personal injury and property damage.
In all states except Florida, insurance for cars must include bodily injury and property damage liability. However, there are also some states that don’t require the motorist to carry an insurance policy from a recognized insurance company:
- Iowa: Motorists must prove financial responsibility
- New Hampshire: No insurance requirements, but must maintain the mandatory minimum if the motorist decides to purchase a policy
- Ohio: Motorists must prove financial responsibility OR maintain the mandatory minimum coverage
- Virginia: Must maintain the mandatory minimum coverage OR pay a fee for being an uninsured motorist
Additionally, the following states require additional coverage to be included in the insurance policy:
- Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Utah
- UM/UIM Coverage & PIP Coverage: Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon
Insurance Laws in Florida
In Florida, all vehicle drivers are required to carry personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning when cyclists or drivers get into an accident, they can file a personal injury claim with their PIP coverage regardless of who was at fault.
This Florida insurance law only covers motor vehicles. Cyclists who do not have PIP coverage cannot file a claim for their injuries under the insurance of the motorist that hit them. But if cyclists also have a motor vehicle, their PIP coverage will still cover them when they are injured in a Florida bike crash.
What to Do if You Have an Accident With a Cyclist
If you are ever involved in a Florida bike accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. If you are the motorist and are relatively unharmed, you must immediately call 911 to seek medical treatment for the injured person.
Once the injured persons have been treated for their injuries, you should then contact Jared Spingarn, P.A. Accident Attorneys to advise you on the next steps. Jared is an experienced Florida accident attorney who can help you process an insurance claim and take legal action if you decide to do so.
Can a cyclist sue a driver in Florida?
Yes, a cyclist injured in a Florida bike crash can sue the motorist that hit them. The driver can be held liable for the cyclist’s injuries if it is proven that the driver was at fault.
To prove that the motorist was at-fault in the bike accident, the following must be established:
- The driver had a duty of reasonable care when operating the vehicle.
- The driver was negligent in operating their vehicle.
- The negligence of the driver caused the bike accident.
- The bike rider sustained serious injuries in the bike accident.
Additionally, if the accident was fatal, the immediate family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party at fault. In this case, you should seek the services of a Florida wrongful death attorney from Jared Spingarn, P.A.’s law offices to advise you on the correct legal proceedings.
What happens if a cyclist hits a car?
If a cyclist hits a motor vehicle, he will be held liable for the damages to the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle can also sue the bike rider for property damage. A personal injury lawsuit may also be filed against the cyclist if they were injured in the accident.
In Florida, there is a rule called comparative negligence, wherein a court or jury awards damages to each party that is apportioned to the percentage of fault of each. For example, if both parties were found to be equally at fault, the plaintiff will receive damages reduced by 50%.
Contact Jared Spingarn, P.A. for a Free Case Evaluation
Are there more car or bicycle accidents in Florida? The data shows that motor vehicles get into more accidents than bicycles. However, Florida bicycle riders can still be at risk of sustaining injuries in case they get into a bike crash. The best way to ensure that you are protected is to seek a free case evaluation from the team at the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn, P.A. A bicycle accident attorney can assess the proper course of action you can take after an accident.