On Saturday, July 18, 2015, an Orlando police officer struck a person riding a bicycle on Kirkman Road, north of Vineland Road. The bicycle rider was taken to the hospital.

An accident involving an automobile and a bicycle can be devastating for the bicycle rider; a fight between an automobile and a bicycle is not a fair one. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 743 bicycle riders were killed and roughly 48,000 bicycle riders were injured in 2013 due to accidents involving cars.

Because bikes are smaller than cars, drivers of cars often fail to see and recognize bikes. If you ride a bike, you need to be aware of some basic safety tips that can help you avoid getting into an accident with a car, and decreasing any damages as the result of a wreck.

Wear a Helmet

Children under 16 years old are legally required to wear a helmet when riding a bike. However, all persons, including adults, should wear a helmet when riding a bike. The helmet should meet the national standards for helmet safety, as provided in 16 CFR 1203. Look on the inside of the helmet for a sticker that says it meets federal and state safety standards. Also look for the certification of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The helmet needs to be properly fitted.

Reflectors and Reflective Clothing

Make sure your bike has reflectors and a light. When riding your bike, be sure to wear reflective clothing, particularly at night. The reflectors on your bike and reflective clothing may make it easier for cars to see and recognize you.

Ride in a Designated Bike Lane

Florida law requires you to ride in a designated bike lane if one is provided. If no designated bike lane is provided or available, be sure to ride your bike as far as practicable to the right hand side. Always ride with the flow of traffic; never ride against the flow of traffic.

Follow Traffic Laws

The Florida traffic laws apply equally to automobiles and to bicycles alike. It is important to follow all traffic laws when riding your bicycle. You need to follow all traffic signals and yield the right of way when appropriate. Of course, you should not ride a bicycle while intoxicated.

Be Aware and Plan Ahead

When riding your bike, be sure to look up and ahead of you, not at the ground in front of you. You need to be able to see what’s coming and prepare to plan and react accordingly. Be aware of your surroundings and traffic and plan and maneuver accordingly.

Have You Been in an Accident while Riding Your Bicycle?

If you have been injured in an accident with an automobile while riding your bike, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The injuries resulting from damage caused to a bicycle rider from a collision with an automobile can be devastating and life-altering. The Florida attorneys at Reed & Reed are here to help you through this difficult time and are able to assess your case to determine whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.