During the coronavirus pandemic, biking has proven a great way to be active, outdoors, social and of course – to avoid public transportation. And with the reduced traffic on the roads, it’s never been more enjoyable. But you don’t have to take just our word for it! Since the pandemic hit, we’ve seen a nationwide spike in biking and bike sales across the country have exploded. Though South Florida appears to be an idyllic place to bike, it is also one of the most dangerous places to do so. With the boom in riders and the lack of safety and infrastructure supporting them, South Florida is unfortunately at risk for many bicycle accidents to come.
Here are a few ways you mitigate your risk while bike riding this season:
Wear a helmet. You know this one! We’re going to take it a few steps further and recommend that you replace your helmet if it has endured significant impact in order to make sure you have the maximum possible protection. To this end, make sure your helmet fits correctly (if your child is growing, make sure you buy a new helmet to correspond to that new growth).
Get a Bike Inspection or Tune Up. If you’re taking your bike out of the shed for the first time in a while, we recommend going to your local bike shop for an inspection. There’s a good chance your bike could use some TLC before you hit the road.
Keep Visible. We recommend that you wear highly visible, brightly colored clothing, especially at night. You can buy a reflective vest or add reflective tape to the bike itself. The State of Florida actually requires the use of bike lights at night – so definitely pick up some of these and affix them to the front and the back of your bike. Also, ride where you can easily be seen and make eye contact with others to ensure that they’ve seen you while you’re on the road.
Heed the Laws. In Florida, cyclists are considered drivers by law rather than pedestrians. This means, you need to heed the same traffic laws as drivers while you’re on your bike. Just like you would do in a car, you’ll want to go with the flow of traffic, give pedestrians the right of way, and remain aware of your surroundings to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
Utilize Designated Bike Lanes. Did you know that the City of Boca Raton has over 84 miles of bike lanes, paved shoulders, and trails, and has been recognized by the League of American Cyclists as one of the most Friendly Bicycle Friendly Communities in the Country? We hope you’ll take advantage of these bike-friendly lanes and zones, which will be fun- and safe! – ways to get out and enjoy.
Even if you follow these five tips, you may still find yourself in a bike accident and/or incurring a bicycle-related injury. If that happens, we are here for you at Willis Law. Please reach out to us at 561-599-7300 or complete our contact form. We offer no-cost consultations and only get paid when we recover funds for you.