A recent bicycle-car accident in Tampa, Florida, is an example of how bicyclists are often unsafe on the road. Reportedly, a 29-year-old man was riding his bicycle to work on the U.S. 92 overpass before the accident occurred. He was allegedly struck by a pickup truck on that road. The bicycle rider died as a result of the accident but the driver of the pickup truck drove away from the scene of the accident.
Consequently, recent reports stated that the authorities found the motor vehicle involved in the car accident. The pickup truck was discovered behind a restaurant where the alleged hit-and-run driver works. Hillsborough county officers arrested the 23-year-old man for allegedly hitting the bicyclist. The hit-and-run motorist is also facing charges for fleeing from the scene of the car accident. It was also believed that the driver failed to see the bicyclist prior to the crash.
Under Florida law, bicycle riders and motorists have the same legal rights, which is why bicyclists can share the road with other motor vehicles. Bicycle riders can use the bicycle lanes and the full lane of the highway as well. Motorists and bicyclists must also obey the same traffic laws.
However, there are certain regulations that are only meant for drivers in order to prevent such accidents. Motorists are required to yield to bicyclists. Motorists are also required to maintain a three-foot distance between vehicles and riders when they pass. Despite this, collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles still occur, resulting in damages, injuries or death of the victims.
Fortunately, Florida car accident victims, including bicyclists, may obtain compensation for the injuries and damages caused by the collision. With a personal injury lawsuit, the victim's medical expenses, lost wages and emotional distress can be compensated. In the case of a car accident fatality; however, the victim's surviving family may claim compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Source: The Tampa Tribune, "Arrest made in fatal hit and run involving Tampa bicyclist," Ray Reyes, Aug. 7, 2013