5 Everyday Ways Drivers Make Cyclists Feel Unsafe
It is a known fact that cyclists are more vulnerable on the road than occupants of motor vehicles. While bad driving, inattentiveness, and conscious law-breaking are of concern to passengers, such behaviors are especially alarming to cyclists. This is because bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles usually result in either death or serious injuries. Unlike passengers who are surrounded by metal, bicyclists have little or nothing protecting them. Sometimes, even a helmet is not enough to prevent a head injury in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle. Fortunately, in Florida, if a cyclist suffers a severe injury or dies in a bicycle accident because of a negligent driver, the negligent driver can be held liable and made to pay for damages and losses.
There are many negligent behaviors that drivers engage in that result in bicycle accidents. Some of these behaviors include;
- Distracted driving
- Turning in the path of a cyclist
- Failing to yield
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Unsafely changing lanes
Apart from the above-listed behaviors, there are many other everyday negligent behaviors that drivers engage in that make cyclists feel unsafe. Motorists need to be aware of these types of behaviors too. Below are five everyday ways drivers make bicyclists feel unsafe.
Overtaking Too Closely
According to Florida Statute 316.083 (2), when overtaking a bicycle, a driver is required to pass the bike at a safe distance of not less than 3 feet. However, despite this law being in place, many drivers still overtake cyclists too closely. Being overtaken too closely can be scary and dangerous.
Following Too Closely
Unfortunately, some drivers think it is alright to drive too closely behind a cyclist. Tailgating by drivers is something that scares bicyclists. Even when you are in a vehicle, being tailgated can be scary. But when someone is on a bike, the situation is worse.
According to Florida law, a driver should only overtake a bicyclist if it is safe for them to do so. If it is not safe for a driver to overtake a cyclist, the driver is required to remain at a safe distance behind the cyclist until they are able to overtake safely. Unfortunately, some drivers are too impatient to wait until it is 100% safe to overtake. It is not uncommon to see motorists overtaking cyclists on bends and when there is too much traffic for it to be safe.
Speeding is a common problem on Florida roads. When it is a bicycle, an over-fast overtake can be frightening.
Parking in Bike Lanes
According to Florida Statute 316.1945, it is illegal to park a vehicle on a bicycle path/lane except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with an officer’s directions or official traffic control device, or with the law. If, as a driver, you park your car in a bike lane, you force cyclists to pull out into the center of the road, even when it is unsafe for them to do so.
Contact a Key West & Marathon Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one in a Florida Keys bicycle accident, talk to one of our Key West & Marathon bicycle accident lawyers at Florida Keys Injury. We can help you hold an at-fault driver liable and recover the compensation you deserve.