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February 12, 2010

Many people are trying to improve their health and take advantage of our state’s wonderful weather at the same time by riding their bicycles. Seeing bicycling clubs out for a ride together on streets and highways is a very common sight in and around the Orlando area and other parts of the state. But this Orlando Sentinel article reports that not all Floridians are thrilled with the growing number of riders on the roads. The article cites the experiences of one Clermont man who is a security guard who often sees large packs of bicyclists on his way to work each day.

“The road, honest to God, is sometimes covered with bicycles,” he said.

He said that as the number of bicyclists on the roads has increased, so has the inconvenience and the hazards of sharing the road with them, particularly on the winding, sloping roads in some parts of Orange and Lake Counties. He was especially upset over a recent incident where he had to avoid striking a large pack of riders and had to leave the road, resulting in a punctured tire.

“I was so mad I could spit,” he said. “They’re sharing the road with cars going 40 miles per hour or more, and they are spread four or five across, and they won’t let cars try to pass.”

Bicycle riders have to obey the rules of the road just as drivers do, but not all bicyclists observe the rules and ride their bikes in a manner that puts others and themselves at risk. Florida laws require bicyclists to come to a full stop at stop signs and ride in single file on streets and highway for their safety. The disregard of some cyclists to observe the rules of the road and the dangerous conditions they create has resulted in Lake County deputies issuing warnings to some cyclists.

“If people don’t start heeding our warnings, then we’ll have to take it to the next step, which will affect their pocketbooks,” said one sergeant in the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. “We hate to do that, because maybe they don’t realize that what they’re doing is wrong. They’re required to stop at stop signs, use hand signals to show they’re turning and to ride in single file closest to the curb.”

As bicycle ridership has increased, so has the anger of some motorists who have been observed honking, screaming, intimidating and forcing bicyclists off the road, leading to some injuries. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, if a bicyclist is injured or killed by a motorist, they may be able to recover medical expenses and other accident-related costs that are compensable under Florida law.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to aggressive bicyclists or aggressive drivers, Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham may be able to help. He has represented accident victims and their families since 1977 and has the experience and resources to accept cases of any size. If you have questions about the laws that apply to your situation and want to know your options, call Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham today to schedule a free consultation.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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