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Increased Risk of Bicycle & Pedestrian Accidents during the School Season

The beginning of the school year can be full of excitement as well as worrying for many parents and kids. Children have to get back to their schedule and parents too need to follow a fixed routine, based on their kids’ schedule. Uniforms have to be cleaned weekly and there are projects and homework too, to complete. Parents also need to wake up their children early in the morning, ready them, prepare their meals, and drop them at school on time.

People with either no children or school-going kids may observe some difference in the traffic pattern when the school season begins. Everyone seems to be in a rush, which results in a higher number of traffic accidents during the school season. In fact, according to news reports, three people were struck by automobiles in the very first week of the school season this year in two separate crashes near schools in Palm Bay, Florida.

Details of the Accidents

In the first crash, a father and his 5-year-old child were hit by a vehicle near Odyssey Charter School. Both were walking together across the crosswalk when a car turned into the school and hit them. Both sustained minor injuries in the crash, according to Palm Bay Police.

Details of the Accidents

In the second crash, a student was hit by a vehicle near Discovery Elementary School. The child with his bike was crossing the road along Glencove Avenue and Emerson Drive, when he was crossing the road across the crosswalk, a car turned left and hit the kid. The driver fled the scene, but was later found and arrested by police.

Bicycle & Pedestrian Accidents

Bicycle and pedestrian accidents often lead to severe injuries and even cause death. But why? Let’s understand this with an example. When a vehicle hits another automobile at a speed of 10 miles per hour, it may cause only a fender bender. However, a bicyclist or pedestrian can be severely harmed if hit by the same vehicle at the same or lower speed. Now, what will happen if the same vehicle hits a bicyclist or pedestrian at a speed of 30 miles per hour? Yes, the collision will likely result in their death.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that over 600 bicyclists die each year in automobile accidents in the US and more than 50,000 suffer injuries in car crashes involving bicycles. Sadly, children are the most common victims of pedestrian and bicycle crashes and they are often left with the need for long-term medical care or rehabilitation. Several factors like fatigue, driver distraction, speeding, road rage, and failure to yield contribute to bicycle or pedestrian accidents.

Bicycle & Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Tips

Here are some bicycle and pedestrian safety tips for parents and children to help them stay safe on the roads and streets, and reduce their risk of being injured

Pedestrian Safety Tips

  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If no sidewalks are available, walk in the opposite direction of traffic, so that oncoming automobiles remain visible to you.
  • Always cross the road, where pedestrians are usually expected to cross, such as in crosswalks or at corners. Always observe traffic while crossing the road.
  • Avoid entering the street from between two parked vehicles. If you can’t avoid crossing mid-block, you must yield right of way to automobiles on the road.
  • Be visible. Wear bright, reflective clothing, footwear, wristbands, and caps. Keep your flashlight on while walking at night.
  • Pay attention all the time when on the road. Avoid wearing headphones or looking at your mobile phone while crossing the road.
  • Follow signals and signs for pedestrians. Always yield right of way to automobiles if the crosswalk signal says “Do Not Walk” or is red.

Bicycle Safety Tips

  • Make sure all bicycle parts are in working well before taking it out for a ride.
  • All bicyclists below 16 years of age are required by Florida Law to wear a helmet. Wear a helmet that fits you well.
  • Wear proper footwear (such as sneakers). Do not ride barefoot or wear flip-flops.
  • Be visible. Wear bright-colored clothing or something that reflects light (shoes, tape, etc.).
  • Pay attention. Avoid wearing headphones and never text while riding.
  • Ride in the direction of traffic. Use bike lanes wherever possible.
  • Obey all traffic rules and follow signs, lane markings, and signals.
  • Never attach yourself or your bike to any vehicle on a roadway.
  • If you are riding between the time of sunrise and sunset, use a headlight lamp with white light with visibility up to 500 ft. as well as a taillight lamp and reflector with visibility up to 600 ft.; as required by Florida law.
  • Always cross the road at intersections and never enter the roadway from between two parked vehicles.
  • When riding in a crosswalk or on the sidewalk, yield to pedestrians prior to overtaking or passing them.

Compensation for Injuries in Bicycle & Pedestrian Accidents

There are several ways a sufferer of a bicycle or pedestrian crash can recover fiscal recompense for the injuries sustained due to recklessness or negligent behavior of a driver. In general, an injured bicyclist or pedestrian can file a claim against the driver’s or vehicle owner’s auto liability insurance policy. But, Florida’s no-fault law, also known as personal injury protection (PIP), doesn’t allow an injured pedestrians to get fiscal compensation for their injuries. It only covers 80% of your medical expenses, up to $10,000.

However, bicyclists and pedestrians may be covered by their very own insurance policy, an employer’s policy, or a parent’s policy if they are a minor. Other policies, such as disability, health, workers’ compensation, and/or automobile insurance policies may also offer coverage to accident victims.

Get in Touch with a Personal Injury Attorney in Clermont, Florida

If you or your loved one has been harmed in a pedestrian accident in Clermont, Florida, contact the skilled personal injury lawyers at MANGAL, PLLC. Our Clermont pedestrian accident attorneys have years of experience representing all types of personal injury cases and bringing justice to pedestrian and bicycle accident victims in Florida.

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