Due to the year-round tropical climate and average of 237 sunshine days per year, bicycle riders in South Florida do not experience the temperature change that indicates the arrival of fall. However, the days are starting to get noticeably shorter, a trend that will continue until Daylight Savings ends on November 6, 2022 – at which point the impact of early darkness really becomes apparent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that lower lighting does affect bicycle accidents. Almost 40% of all collisions involving pedal cycles occur from 6 pm to midnight.
When you break down the data into seasons and hours of light, the transition into the fall and winter months is a dangerous time for bicycle riders. Visibility is part of the issue, but negligent drivers are the most significant risk. It is important to discuss your situation with a Miami bicycle accident attorney if you were hurt since Florida law protects your interests. Some additional statistics are also useful.
Data on Bicycle Accidents and Environmental Impacts
The NHTSA reviews blocks of time in three-hour increments to assess the impact of darkness on bicycle collisions. The statistics reveal that:
- During the winter months of December, January, and February, around 25% of all bicyclist fatalities occur from 6 pm to 9 pm. Another 15% of deaths happen between 3 pm and 6 pm.
- When the weather turns warmer, there are more bike rider fatalities after 9 pm. Around 1 in 5 of all deaths happen from 9 pm to midnight, when looking at March through August.
- Statistics on the fall months reveal the same fatality rates as winter. However, in total, September through November is highly risky for bicycle accidents. Around 55 percent of all bike rider deaths occur from 3 pm to midnight.
Legal Remedies for Victims of Bike Collisions
Even though you are not operating a motorized vehicle, your legal options as the victim of a bicycle crash are similar to other traffic accidents. Injured victims may see compensation under the theory of negligence, in which you have to prove that the other motorist failed to exercise reasonable care when driving. For example, a driver may be negligent by:
- Running red lights and stop signs;
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Failure to yield right of way to a bicyclist in traffic or riding in a designated bike lane; and,
- Distracted driving, including texting, talking on the phone, using a GPS, eating, or adjusting the radio.
In a successful bike crash claim, you may qualify to recover for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and many other types of monetary damages.
Discuss Your Options With a Miami Bicycle Accidents Lawyer
At Gerson & Schwartz, PA, our team is prepared to pursue negligent motorists and get the compensation you deserve for your losses after a bike collision. To learn more about our services, please contact us at (305) 371-6000 or via our website. We can schedule a free case evaluation at offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.