12-Year-Old Hit While Riding His Bike – Law Firms in Jacksonville want you to know Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help

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12-Year-Old Hit While Riding His Bike – Law Firms in Jacksonville want you to know Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help

A few months ago, Law Firms in Jacksonville Fl reported a 12-year-old boy was flown to a hospital after he was hit by a Toyota Tacoma on Ponte Vedra Lakes Boulevard while riding his bicycle.  First Coast News reported the crash occurred in the afternoon on Ponte Vedra Lake Blvd. near A1A North, Florida Highway Patrol said.

Law Firms in Jacksonville Fl discovered the victim was not using a crosswalk to cross the street on his bicycle when he was hit by the vehicle.  His injuries were not considered serious but he was flown to UF Health as a precaution, police said.

Did you know that hundreds of cyclists are killed each year in traffic related accidents? Federal statistics indicate 722 bicyclist deaths occurred in 2012, up 6% from 2011 and 16 percent from 2010. On a per capita basis, Florida recorded an annual average of about 5.7 cyclist deaths per million residents, by far the most of any state. The national bicyclist death rate for 2012 was approximately 2.3 deaths per 1 million.  Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyers want you to realize those are scary statistics.

Consequently, as children go back to school and we see more kids on bikes it is smart to know the rights of bicyclists (whether they are children or adults) and vehicles and how they should interact when they are out on the roadways. The Florida Times Union ran a recent article pertaining to this matter recently.  They interviewed several individuals including Lindsey Pavlick, traffic safety project coordinator for AAA The Auto Club Group in Tampa on roadway safety.

“Whether you’re using the road as a motorist or as a cyclist, you have a responsibility to know the laws of your state,”  she said.  A good starting point is to be aware that in Florida, a bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle. That means that bicyclists and motorists have the same rights to the roadways, and must obey the same traffic laws.

Both AAA and the North Florida Bicycle Club have websites with information on bicycle safety and sharing the road. Here are some of their tips for pedalers and drivers:

SAFETY ADVICE FOR CYCLISTS

  • “Ride predictably. When riding in traffic, avoid weaving in and out of traffic,” Atkins said. “Instead, maintain your line of travel, and remain as far to the right as is safe.” Law Firms in Jacksonville know the law states you need to ride as close to the right as practicable. “Some view that as far to the right as possible. But that’s not what the statute says. And that’s something that many motorists don’t know, that they can go into the other lane to pass a cyclist.”
  • Obey traffic laws. That includes riding in the direction of traffic, obeying traffic signs and signals, and using hand signals before turning or changing lanes.
  • Do a quick maintenance test. Make sure the pedals, seat, and handlebars are firmly attached. Make sure the tires are in good condition and properly inflated, and the brakes are working adequately.
  • Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyers want you to make yourself obvious. Wear brightly colored clothing. Always use head and tail lights at night. Riding at night without proper lighting is one of the most frequent causes of fatal crashes with motor vehicles.

SAFETY ADVICE FOR MOTORISTS

  • Stay alert and avoid all distractions while driving.
  • Slow down and give at least 3 feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist. Florida is one of 26 states requiring motorists to maintain a distance of at least 3 feet when passing a cyclist.
  • Never honk your horn at a bicyclist. It could cause them to swerve into traffic or off the roadway and crash.
  • Always check for bicyclists before opening your car door. Even if the cyclist avoids colliding with the door, he could end up swerving into traffic.
  • Children on bicycles are often unpredictable  expect the unexpected.

THE RIGHT HELMET

Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyers want you to know how to choose the right bike helmet for you.  According to Pavlick, wearing a bicycle helmet is one of the most important steps cyclists can take to protect themselves. Law Firms in Jacksonville Fl want to remind you that the Florida law requires a bicycle rider or passenger under the age of 16 to wear a bicycle helmet.

But to effectively reduce the chances of head and brain injury, riders need to be sure their helmets are properly fitted, Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyers want you to know that a helmet that isn’t secure and stable won’t offer much protection if there is a crash.

Law Firms in Jacksonville Fl have but together some tips for riders.  Here are some tips for properly fitting a bike helmet from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Measure your head to find your size. Try on several helmets in your size until one feels right. Now put the helmet level on your head and adjust the sizing pads or fit ring until the helmet is snug.
  • The helmet should sit level on your head and low on your forehead- one or two finger-widths above your eyebrow.
  • Side Straps: Adjust the slider on both straps to form a ’V’ shape under, and slightly in front of, the ears. Lock the slider if possible.
  • Buckles: Center the left buckle under the chin. On most helmets, the straps can be pulled from the back of the helmet to lengthen or shorten the chin straps. This task is easier if you take the helmet off to make these adjustments.
  • Chin Strap: Buckle your chin strap. Tighten the strap until it is snug so that no more than one or two fingers fit under the strap.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident while on a bicycle, contact one of the best Law Firms in Jacksonville FL: Edwards & Ragatz for a free consultation. (904)399-1609 or (866)366-1609. Feel free to e-mail our office at info@edwardsragatz.com. www.edwardsragatz.com

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