Florida Implements New Laws For The Safety Of Bicyclists And Pedestrians
Last year, Florida lawmakers passed a series of new regulations related to bicyclist and pedestrian safety. In July, those regulations were officially implemented across the state. While some of these legal changes promise to be effective in preventing cyclist and pedestrian accidents in the future, these types of collisions will still undoubtedly happen, leaving devastated victims in their wake. For help seeking compensation for your own bicycle or pedestrian accident, please reach out to our experienced Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyers today.
New Legal Changes
The recently implemented traffic regulations included a number of cyclist and pedestrian-related changes. One, for instance, clarifies the definition of a bicycle lane, essentially narrowing the requirements for how a motorist can safely pass a bicyclist or pedestrian on the road. No-passing zones, for example, no longer apply to motorists who drive to the left of center in order to overtake a cyclist, as long as the driver gives at least three feet of passing clearance. Another law allows cyclists who are riding in groups of ten or more people to travel through intersections after coming to a full stop. Furthermore, in these cases, motorists are required to let at least one group pass before proceeding. Vehicles making a right turn while passing a cyclist are now only permitted to do so if the cyclist is at least 20 feet from the intersection and at a safe distance. These changes were welcomed by cyclists and pedestrians across the state of Florida, where accident rates are among the highest in the country.
Why are Florida Roads So Dangerous?
The high rate of cyclist and pedestrian accidents in Florida is attributed to a number of different issues, including a lack of:
- Bicycle lanes;
- Working crosswalks; and
- Blinking indicators to remind motorists to yield.
Many of the accidents involving both drivers and cyclists or pedestrians can, however, be chalked up to driver negligence, including texting while driving, speeding, and rolling through stop signs or red lights. Fortunately, individuals who engage in this kind of negligence can be held liable for their actions, being required to compensate victims for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, permanent disability, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. Unlike cases involving a collision between two vehicles, motorist-bicyclist accidents may not need to go through the parties’ insurers. Instead, the accident victim may be able to file a claim in court immediately, as cyclists are not required to carry PIP insurance and their injuries are almost always severe enough to satisfy the state’s serious injury threshold.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer for Help with Your Case
If you were injured in a motorist-cyclist or motorist-pedestrian accident and are unsure of your next steps, please call the dedicated Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorneys at Boone & Davis to learn more about your options for recovery. You can set up a free case review with a member of our legal team by calling 954-566-9919 or by completing one of our online contact forms.