The bicyclists are encouraged to wear helmets while riding in Florida and take additional care while riding close to the cars. They should try and stay visible by using reflective and bright clothing. Although these practices will help the cyclists to reduce the risk of bicycle accidents the fact remains that they are at the mercy of cars around them. During bicycle accidents, the cyclist often suffers major injuries due to the inability of the car driver to share the road. The car driver might be traveling too fast to stop in time and prevent the accident or he just might not be paying attention. Here are the most common reasons for bicycle accidents in Florida.

Rear-end collisions: Rear ending is one of the most common reasons for a car and bicycle accident. The biker might collide directly with the back wheel or get struck on the rear end of the bike forcing the rider in the opposite lane or off the road. These kinds of accidents occur during nights typically when the cyclists are not using rear reflectors and often involve car drives who are under the influence.

Pull out accidents: These kinds of bicycle accidents occur when a car driver backs out from a driveway or when he moves forward from side streets without looking out for the oncoming bicycle or pedestrian traffic. A vehicle suddenly appearing from an alley or a parking space doesn’t allow the biker any time to avoid the accident. Some obstructions on the side of the roads such as poles, bushes, and building s make it difficult for the car drivers to see the bicyclist in time.

Dooring: This kind of bicycle accident occurs when a person sitting in a parked car opens his car door in front of the rider. This forces the rider to stop or swerve into the opposing traffic. He or she might even collide with the occupant of the car. These accidents are generally the fault of the car occupant who must check his mirrors before opening the car doors or exiting in the lane.

Left turn accident: This is also called a left cross and it occurs when the car traveling in the opposite direction takes a left turn in front of a bicyclist. He might hit the biker on the sides and force him to be launched into the street or might even run over the biker. When the car driver pulls out ahead of the biker the biker might collide with the side of the car.

Right hook: Any car driver traveling next to a biker might fail to see the cyclist before he makes a right turn and in the process may cut off the rider’s path. Sometimes the car drivers speed up to overtake the bikers and attempt to make the turn fast right in front of him. He may misjudge the time required to execute this turn. In this case, the biker will ram into the car side or get hit head-on as the car driver makes the turn.

Car accidents are a daily occurrence on the Florida roads. However, people struck while riding a bike are less likely to walk away from the scene of the accident than the car driver. The bikers suffer severe injuries many times due to the incapability of the driver to share the road. Keep in mind that the car drivers must follow the road rules and respect the right of ways for all vehicles including bikes. If you were involved in a bicycle-car accident where the car driver failed to observe the road rules you can seek advice from professionals such as the Rojas Law Group in Tampa, FL region for compensation.

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Although bicycles do not pose the same threat in the form of road accidents as motor vehicles, drunk biking may have serious consequences such as causing harm to the driver, property damage, and causing harm to others. If you are riding a bicycle after having taken a drink it is not taken lightly. Although most states treat this issue differently you need to check the laws in Florida for more up-to-date information about bicycle accidents.

DUI laws regarding bicycles

Courts of various states are split about the subject of drunk driving. Many people immediately doubt the amount of harm any bicyclist may cause to other road users due to the relatively harmless nature of a bicycle during a bicycle accident. Although many laws acknowledge the fact the bicyclists are only likely to harm themselves with drunk driving, an injury to the drunk driver may have profound effects on others even the rider’s family members.

Biking under the influence in Florida

Do you think taking a bike to the bar close by is a better alternative than taking a car? Think again. Because you are not riding in a car doesn’t mean you cannot be pulled over or even arrested for drunken driving. Remember, bikes are considered vehicles in Florida. Therefore they cannot be operated by people who have consumed drugs or alcohol before its use.

If someone is riding a bike under the influence he or she may get charged for biking under the influence. Florida laws consider the vehicles powered by the human body or a combination of a motor and human body as a vehicle. For a vehicle to be considered as a bicycle it has to travel under the speed of 20 miles per hour. As bicycles are classified as vehicles they are subject to similar restrictions like those for the different vehicles on the road.

Penalties for biking under the influence in Florida

A bicyclist can ride on his bike in Florida if his blood alcohol content is under 0.10. If he exceeds this limit he is liable to get arrested with biking under the influence. But as the motor vehicle license dispensed by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) is not issued for people riding a bike, the organization does not provide consent for a test of the BAC. When a biker is arrested with biking under the influence in the state of Florida he or she will face,

  • Up to $2,000 fine.
  • 6 to 9 months term in jail.
  • 50 hours of community service,
  • 180 days to 1-year suspension of driving license.

The DUI charges which the bicycle rider riding the bicycle under the influence occurs count toward the total number of DUI convictions he or she has. Therefore depending on whether it is your first time being arrested or sixth you are likely to be facing felony and misdemeanor charges for avoiding the use of a vehicle while drinking alcohol.

Defense of charges of biking under the influence in case of a bicycle accident is different than compared to the defense for other motor vehicles. If you are charged with this crime, make sure that your car accident attorney has experience with the Florida laws apply to your unique situation.

In these kinds of cases, the plaintiff can always be awarded compensation however, there is always the risk that you may get a different outcome to the case. The Rojas Law Group will fight toward getting the client full and fair compensation. But remember, riding a bicycle under the influence is not a good idea. Not even for your safety and this fact alone should deter you from getting involved in a crash. If you do get involved in an accident your car accident attorney will have to establish that alcohol consumption was not the main factor in the occurrence of the accident.

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Safety is extremely important while riding a bike but no matter how careful you are the fact is that there are a lot more cars on the road. At some point in time, you or your friend riding with you may get into an accident involving a car. You need to know what you have to do afterward as it will make a difference in how well you may be able to protect your rights or those of the fellow rider in case of serious injuries. Here is a checklist of things you need to do to keep control of the situation and maintain crucial information.

1. Wait for the police: You and the other party involved in the bicycle accident are legally required to stay at the scene in case there are any injuries or if there is any property damage. Sometimes you may not believe that you are injured but wait for the police anyway. You may realize later that you are injured. If you leave the scene of the accident it will be difficult to track down the car driver later.

2. Do not negotiate a deal with the car driver: Do not try and negotiate a deal with the car driver even if he/she apologizes and is ready to accept the blame. You might not be aware of the state of the damage to the bike or the state of your injuries and the driver might change his mind later and deny the incident altogether.

3. Get the driver and witness information: Exchange information with the car driver such as name, phone number, and address. Also get his license number, license plate number, car make, and insurance number. Also, take down the names and phone numbers of the witnesses.

4. Write down everything: Remember all the details of the bicycle accident such as where, when, and how it happened along with traffic, road, and weather conditions. Write everything down as quickly as possible. Also, draw maps and figures indicating the positions of everyone involved. You need to include signs, streets, and traffic lights. In case you or your fellow rider has a mobile phone along with a camera, utilize the device for documenting the injuries, vehicles involved, and the scene.

5. Get medical attention, document the injuries, and maintain the evidence: Your injuries from the bicycle accident may be minor but consult a doctor immediately and obtain a written evaluation. Take photographs of the injuries and record the symptoms for a few days. Keep the damaged clothes but do not wash them. Also, keep the damaged bike components and do not try to get the bike repaired. If it is indeed necessary to get it repaired take its photographs first and maintain a written document enlisting the details of the damage.

6. Do not negotiate with insurance companies: The insurers of the car driver may call you and try to make a settlement before you have acquired all the necessary information for supporting the claim. Do not negotiate directly with the insurers. Get advice from a professional.

If you are in Tampa you can talk to a personal injury attorney from Rojas Law Group, an expert in cases related to bicycle accidents. Remember, the insurance companies might use the things you have said against you at a later date. The attorney is capable of negotiating with the insurance companies on your behalf.

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In St. Petersburg leaders are looking at ways to update the city’s micromobility options, including electric bikes. This will be taken into consideration on February 6 when the city council will consider approving the second amendment to their agreement with Cycle Hop LLC (the company that’s been responsible for the city’s bike share program since 2016). The amendment would allow for a three-year extension to the agreement, updating the bikes to electric ones, and modifying the price payment structure.

Why Bikes are Being Updated

The technology that’s used by the existing bikes has grown old and needs updated so the equipment continues functioning correctly and can meet the desired service level. This is especially important now that the industry is beginning to incorporate electric bikes within their fleets. It’s recommended that St. Petersburg start introducing this mobility option alongside of their motorized scooter share program.

Considering the popularity of Cycle Hop’s Coast Bike Share program throughout last year, this makes sense. In all there were more than 115,000 trips covering over 241,000 miles throughout the city in 2019.

What the Updated Program Will Include

Cycle Hop will be upgrading St. Petersburg’s fleet of bicycles as part of their second amendment agreement with the city. They will also trade in used bikes for 300 new HOPR 3 bikes on the HOPR platform. There will be no cost for taking these steps which would expand the fleet to 50 electric bikes at a cost of $1,495 per bike or a total of $74,750. These will all be three-speed bikes that can reach a speed of 20 MPH and cover about 40 miles with a single charge. Once the agreement for them is approved, they’d be introduced exclusively to the city of St. Petersburg within the next 120 days.

This will be a great way to provide another mobility option – one that will be faster, easier, and that will also make you less sweaty than if you were to use one of the bike share’s pedal bikes. These changes are also expected to help keep the bike share more relevant as motorized scooter will be introduced to the St. Petersburg area in the spring of 2020.

Tampa has already introduced scooters as part of the bike share program they have along their shore. There people are taking around 4,000 trips each month using these bikes. This will be slightly higher than the number that’s expected to use them in St. Petersburg. However, Tampa has never added any electric bikes to their fleet.

Overall research shows that scooters’ impact on bike share programs has mixed results. This is because there are several factors that must be taken into consideration (e.g. the program’s age, expanse, availability; the community’s regulation of their micromobility framework).

Conclusion

The cost of buying and implementing these electric bikes has been appropriated within the Multimodal Impact Fees Capital Improvement Fund. This means you won’t need to worry about this, but you should know that bikes do make driving more challenging. If you find yourself getting into an accident with one of them, make sure you seek legal representation immediately. For this you should contact the Rojas Law Group.

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Oftentimes when a person gets into a car accident, they believe that their insurance will take care of everything for them. Unfortunately, when you’re in a fender bender you may underestimate its cost. However, any accident you’re in (yes, even a fender bender) can cost you a lot of money. Even if you’ve been paying your insurance company’s premiums for years, they may still not cover the entire cost of the accident. This is why it’s so important for you to right away decide if you need the help of an experienced attorney. In doing so you must take all the various costs of the accident into consideration.

Repairing or Replacing Your Vehicle

When your car is damaged in an accident, you’ll either pay a mechanic to fix it or buy a new car. If the accident is minor (e.g. scratches, dents), you may still pay a lot of money to have your car fixed.

Damage to Your Personal Property

When you have valuable items in your vehicle (e.g. laptop, camera, phone) during the time of your car accident you’ll need to pay to have the items replaced. This can easily add up to thousands of dollars.

Vehicle Financing

If you’re leasing your vehicle or using any other type of financing, you must continue to meet these obligations after your car accident – even if your car is deemed a total loss. This can be devastating, especially if you must take some time off work to recover from your injuries.

Medical Bills

After the accident, you may need to visit your local hospital’s emergency room. Even if it’s a “minor” accident you may still have medical costs in the future as you get follow up treatment. These bills quickly add up. They can be particularly tricky if you slowly develop symptoms because then your insurance company may say that they weren’t a result of your accident. Sometimes you’ll have to pay out of pocket for medications or for co-pays to see a specialist or have certain tests done. Even if you’ve only been in a minor car accident you should still be seen by a doctor because you don’t want to find out later that you did suffer an injury, only to be left fighting for your insurance company to pay the bill.

Lost Time at Work

When you’re injured you may be unable to return to work for a while. This will result in decreased income and it could also result in missing out on new opportunities that you could have otherwise taken advantage of (e.g. a promotion).

Incidental Fees

Even a minor car accident can result in many incidental fees adding up to a large cost for you to pay. Some of the things you should consider here include:

  • Taking a taxi, Uber, or Lyft to get places you need to be
  • Renting a car because you can’t use other types of transportation
  • Replacing your cell phone because it was damaged in the accident
  • Getting help at home if you’ve been injured (e.g. can’t use your hand)

Legal Fees

If the other driver blames the car accident on you, then you may have to defend yourself. This will result in you having legal fees. You may also have these fees if you must take your insurance company to court to get fair compensation.

Don’t dismiss this incident as not being serious enough to retain legal representation. Look at the costs that are involved and any legal situations you may find yourself in. By doing so you’ll see that contacting the Rojas Law Group is one of the best decisions you can make as you go through this ordeal. Don’t delay, call them today.

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Transporting your children to and from school can be dangerous. This is because the leading cause of accidents and injuries in Tampa to children stems from people not following car safety tips. With extra traffic on the roads during these times, your likelihood of being in a car accident increases. Such an accident can result in serious head or back injuries. Fortunately, there are some safety tips you can use to prevent car accidents from happening.

Know Who’s Responsible for Taking Your Children to School

You want to make sure that whomever is responsible for transporting your children to school is a responsible driver. When you let older siblings drive younger children to school, make sure that you talk to them first about making good choices while they’re behind the wheel.

Be Extremely Cautious Around School Buses

Not every child has been taught safety tips for school buses. As such, you should expect that children will run out in front of your vehicle and make other poor choices. It’s your job to be prepared for this to happen.

Watch for Pedestrians, Especially in School Zones

When children walk to and from school, they may use skateboards, scooters, and bikes. This means they could potentially be distracted. They may even be listening to music or playing with their friends as they move along to their destination. Although many parents have taught their children traffic safety tips, many parents have not. Regardless of whether they’ve been taught these things, children do sometimes forget these rules so you must be prepared for them to do surprising things and always maintain good car safety tips when you’re anywhere near a school.

Slow Down, Save a Life

If you’re caught speeding in a school zone, the fine is quite costly. Instead of speeding because you’re in a hurry, make sure you give yourself enough time to slow down while in a school zone – especially during bad weather.

Use age Appropriate Safety Systems in Your Vehicle

Your young children should be in age-appropriate car seats until they grow out of them. Older children should ride in booster seats until they’re tall enough to ride in your car without one. Regardless of what type of seat your child is riding in, the safest place for them to ride is in the back.

Entertain Your Children

Children can distract you by trying to tell you things or fighting amongst themselves. This is why it’s important to keep them distracted with games or activities. Doing so helps you maintain your focus on the road.

Watch out for the Sun

Sun causes significant glare, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. This is why you should always have sunglasses with you while driving.

Know who to Call When an Accident Occurs

Accidents aren’t always preventable – that’s why they’re called accidents. When one occurs make sure you call the Rojas Law Group right away. Located in Tampa, Florida, Personal Injury Attorney Juana Maria Rojas will help you understand your rights and get you the compensation you deserve so you can concentrate on healing and getting your life back to normal. Don’t delay when you’ve been injured in a car accident. Call him right away.

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Recently the Wall Street Journal ran an alarming headline stating that Pinellas County, Florida is the most dangerous place to ride a bike in America today. This is the area located right outside of the Tampa Bay Metro area. This is something that the Tampa Bay Times refutes though. What makes this so interesting is that both newspapers gathered their information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The difference lies in the fact that the Wall Street Journal gathered their information from a 10-year period while the Tampa Bay Times looked specifically at the past 5 years.

What Statistics Show

Statistics show that in 2016 Florida was the deadliest state for bicyclists. The fatality rate was 6.7 out of 1 million people which is more than half of the national average: 2.6 million. However, Pasco County had more deaths than Pinellas when looking at all the counties located around Tampa Bay. Their average was .77 per 100,000 people throughout the 5 years that were perused. During this same time these statistics were also discovered:

  • Hillsborough had .75 per 100,000 people
  • Pinellas had .71 per 100,000 people
  • Hernando had .46 per 100,000 people
  • Citrus had .43 per 100,000 people
  • Manatee 1 per 100,000 people
  • Sarasota 1 per 100,000 people

These are the 7 counties that the traffic safety administration includes in the Tampa Bay metro area. When you factor in all 7 counties, you see that Pinellas moves even further down on the list.

What This Data Means

Spokeswoman Kathryn Henry from the Tampa Bay Times clarified this information. In doing so she consulted with the agency’s data team. Together they formed the theory that Pinellas clearly doesn’t have the highest rate of fatalities caused by bicycle accidents. While the county did have a high rate of these fatalities in 2013, this isn’t the case now in 2019.

Steve Severinghaus from the Wall Street Journal replied to Henry’s statement by saying that his newspaper had considered over a decade’s worth of information when conducting their analysis. He said this data also included the most recent information that was presented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In conclusion Severinghaus stated that the paper was confident in the accuracy and quality of their reporting on this matter.

What the Wall Street Journal somehow managed to overlook was the fact that the Florida Department of Transportation saw 2011 as a turning point when it came to bicycle safety initiatives. It may be this fact that accounts for the difference between the 5 and 10 year analysis.

Conclusion

The number of fatalities caused by bicycle accidents has been increasing throughout the country as more people using bikes for transportation. According to the traffic safety administration, there were 840 deaths in the U.S. in 2016 alone – the highest rate since 1991. If you are a bike rider in this area who’s gotten into a bicycle accident, make sure you contact the Rojas Law Group. They’ve successfully defended many bikers over the years and look forward to helping you as well.

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