According to law enforcement, a Florida Atlantic University student drove into a bicyclist riding in the bicycle lane and killed him. The 24-year-old driver was allegedly three times over the legal limit when the accident happened, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
After the collision on North Federal Highway, the young driver kept going, parked at a stoplight and waddled into a gas station. Shortly after, he got into a strangers car, vomiting everywhere inside, and passed out until officers arrived. The 41-year-old bicyclist laid on the side of the road until officers showed up. He was thrown over the roof of the vehicle. His bike broke into three pieces and the victim lost his foot and part of an arm. He died from blunt force neck injuries.
Our Boca Raton bicycle accident lawyers understand that a good portion of bicycle accidents result from driver’s irresponsible habits behind the wheel. In many of these accidents, drivers are severely intoxicated and it’s the cyclists who suffer. In this recent North Federal Highway accident, the driver returned a blood-alcohol reading of .210 three hours after the accident happened. He was arrested and held in jail with a $100,000 bail. He is now facing charges of negligent DUI homicide and hit and run. At the time of the accident, officials report that the driver was speeding, at roughly 60 miles per hour in an area with a 45 miles per hour speed limit.
We may never truly know just how serious of a problem this is. While we know drunk drivers pose serious threats to bicyclists, we don’t know just how bad it is. Bike injury stats are under-reported, because the police often don’t bother to write up a report if the cyclist or bicycle isn’t seriously injured.
The best thing that we can do as bicyclists is make the proper adjustments in our travel habits to help ensure our safety. We can first start off by staying on the safest route possible. Pick areas with roomy bike lanes away from fast-moving traffic. You also want to make yourself easily seen. Motorists are used to looking for car-sized objects. To enhance your visibility, wear light-colored or fluorescent clothing and accessories. Apply reflective tape to your helmet and moving parts on your bike, and always use proper lighting at night. You should also know and follow the rules of the road, ride on the right side of the street, do not ride against traffic, obey all traffic signs and signals, and use hand signals. You must obey all traffic laws just like the driver of a car. In Florida, the bicycle is considered a vehicle.
Stay alert out there and never rely on the “safe” driving habits of others to keep you safe. You’ve got to fend for yourself.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. There is no fee unless we win. Call 888-751-7770 today!