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Going Green and Staying Safe While Biking - Eberst Law Firm - Gainesville Stuart Florida Bicycling Accident Attorney

Bicycling is good for your health and for the environment. But it may also prove to be a safer mode of transportation.

If you visit a park or beach on any given day in Florida, you’re likely to see a fair number of cyclists riding for enjoyment or exercise. In addition to recreation, bike owners are increasingly using their bicycles as their main mode of transportation. Not only does it benefit their bodies and their wallets, it’s also good for the environment.

Benefits of Cycling

Health Benefits

With a statewide obesity rate of 37.1%, many Floridians are actively looking for methods to lose weight and improve their fitness levels. Cycling is one effective and accessible way to do it. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cyclist, there is a bike equipped to meet your current abilities and preferred intensity. It makes riding a perfect means of exercise for practically everyone.

Not only does bicycling improve your metabolism, build muscles, and burn body fat; it can also improve your mental health. Intense biking can trigger your body to release endorphins, chemicals that put you in a good mood.

Owning a bicycle encourages people to spend more time in the sun where they can soak up the benefits of vitamin D. Over a billion people worldwide have a deficiency of this critical vitamin that promotes bone health and immunity to illnesses.

Environmental Benefits

Transportation accounts for 28.2% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Since your feet are doing all the work, you don’t need gasoline, antifreeze, or any harmful chemicals to power you from point A to point B on a bicycle. When you choose a bicycle over a car, you’re helping to reduce air pollution and to slow down climate change. Unlike a car, a bicycle will not leak toxic fluids that can potentially make their way into our waterways and food sources. 

Economic Benefits

Not only is gasoline bad for the environment, it is also pricey. On average, Americans spend over $2,000 on gas every year. If you own a vehicle, you also spend a small fortune on car payments, routine maintenance, and perhaps even a parking space. Riding a bicycle can significantly pad your savings or afford you that vacation you’ve been dreaming about. 

Bicycle Accident Statistics

As there are more male riders, it makes sense that men are eight times more likely to die in a bicycle accident. Florida sees more fatal bike accidents than any other state, and the bulk of those accidents, 38%, are caused by drivers failing to yield to the cyclist’s right of way. Regardless of the state, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. is the deadliest window of time for cyclists. That’s when it’s late enough to be dark and when many people are running errands after work.

Is Cycling Safer than Driving a Car? 

Of the 36,560 fatalities from car accidents in 2018, 857 were cyclists. Though 857 is relatively low to the overall number of deaths, it is actually significant since cyclists only comprised 1% of road traffic that year. But it is sharing the road with much larger vehicles, not the act of cycling itself, that makes it more dangerous. 

Understandably, in most cases, an accident between vehicles will be much more devastating than an accident between two bicycles. That’s why countries with a significant number of cyclists and fewer cars on the road have fewer fatalities

As more people forgo cars to adopt cycling, the safer the roads become. With more cyclists on the road, drivers’ awareness of them increases and they are more likely to anticipate accidents before they happen. 

What to do if You’re in a Bike Accident

From a legal standpoint, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and its rider is considered a driver. If you’re involved in a bicycle accident, treat the situation similarly to how you would treat an accident between two cars. The driver is required to share his or her name and address, license number, and insurance information.

Call 911 to get a police officer on the scene, as well as emergency medical assistance if needed. It’s important to have the accident documented in a police report. That way, you can prove the extent and severity of the damages you’ve endured. 

Pictures are also useful documents. If you’re well enough to do so, take pictures of your bicycle, the vehicle, and any visible injuries. Take detailed accounts from witnesses. Additionally, ask for their contact information in case you need to ask them questions in the future.

It is wise to see a healthcare provider after any car accident. But it is especially important to do so after a bike accident. The lack of protection on a bike compared with a car means you can absorb more of the impact. Even wearing a helmet and padding does not necessarily prevent you from sustaining bodily harm like head injuries and fractures, which are not always immediately evident. 

Contact an Experienced Bike Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you to secure the compensation you need to heal. At Eberst Law, our dedicated attorneys have successfully recovered maximum compensation on behalf of numerous clients. We will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for you as well. You never pay a fee unless we collect a settlement for you. Contact us online or call us at 772-225-4900 for a free consultation.