Bikesharing in Orlando Requires Increased Driver Alertness
Bikesharing has become a phenomenon across the United States, and with its year-round warm weather, Orlando is no exception to this trend. Orlando’s first public bike share program was Juice, which launched in 2015. Since that date, riders have taken over 115,000 trips spanning over 200,000 miles according to reports. But at the end of March, Juice’s contract with the City of Orlando came to a close and a new player in town, Lime, launched its electric fleet under the city “dockless” ordinance. Lime’s bikes need not be parked on a bike rack and, according to the Orlando Sentinel, the city approved up to 500 bikes. Lime’s e-bikes have baskets, a smartphone mount, a lock and lithium batteries that help power the bikes up to nearly 15 miles per hour.
Dangers for Orlando Cyclists
While these bikesharing programs are creating a healthier lifestyle option for Americans, there are also dangers associated with them. Nowhere is this danger more true than in the state of Florida. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in 2018 that Florida was high on the list for cyclist fatalities – the per-capita cyclist death rate was 60% higher than the next highest state. A Wall Street Journal report on the issue noted that California, Florida, and Texas account for 40% of cyclist deaths in America – despite only housing 27% of the U.S. cyclist population.
The causes behind these alarming bicycle accident statistics are many, according to researchers. This includes a higher population of elderly drivers, frequently visiting tourists who are unfamiliar with the roads, and the state’s densely packed population in its bigger cities (like Orlando). According to a 2015 report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association examining bicycle fatalities, alcohol is also to blame as 22% of cyclists killed and 12% of drivers in those accidents were driving under the influence. Just like in the rest of the country, texting while driving is also an issue.
Safety Tips for Cyclists
While the studies show that riding a bicycle in Orlando and other parts of Florida is not always the easiest or safest choice for transportation, there are steps cyclists can take to avoid accidents. Although there are careless drivers on Orlando’s roads, there are ways to help prevent bicycle accidents and deaths. Some safety tips for cycling in Orlando include:
- Never ride against traffic; go with the flow and stay on the right side of the road
- Make sure to always wear safety gear, especially a bike helmet
- Be sure to make yourself familiar with Florida’s and Orlando’s bike laws
- Be sure to wear bright colors, reflectors, and lights, particularly when it is dark outside (dusk and dawn)
- Do not make sudden maneuvers but, instead, be predictable and use hand signals
- Make sure to be aware of your surroundings and ride in a defensive manner
- Regularly inspect your bike’s brakes and other parts to ensure they are in good working order
- Conduct research before your trip to find the safest routes to reach your desired destination
”While these bikesharing programs are creating a healthier lifestyle option for Americans, there are also dangers associated with them.
Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Bikesharing is a fun and eco-friendly way to get around, but still includes the risks of riding a personal bicycle. If you have been hurt in an Orlando bicycle accident – or any other accident in Florida – contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns today for your free personal injury consultation.
NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.