November21, 2012: A 49-year-old bicyclist returning home from work early Sunday in St. Augustine was killed in a hit-and-run accident.
The bicyclist was apparently off his bicycle when he was hit on Anastasia Boulevard near Arrandondo Avenue shortly before 1 a.m., said Mark Samson of the St. Augustine Police Department. Samson said the bicycle was not damaged but police do not know if the victim fell off before being struck or had dismounted for some other reason. He said no witnesses were at the scene, though a woman arrived shortly afterward and attempted unsuccessfully to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Read more at Jacksonville.com
Every year in the United States, bicycle-related deaths number about 900 and emergency rooms treat almost 500,000 people for bicycle-related injuries, most to the head. Bike mishaps in the U.S. send more children to the ER than any other sport. Proper use of a bike helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 88%. In Florida, children under the age of 16 riding a bike or as a passenger on a bike are required by law to wear a helmet.
Regardless of your age, it’s wise to follow these bicycle safety tips
1. Control Your Bicycle (Don’t fall or collide with others)
If you can skillfully control your bike by starting, stopping, and turning properly, you will not fall down all by yourself or run into others. Do this and you cut out about half of your injury risk.
2. Follow the Rules (Don’t cause traffic accidents)
Follow traffic laws, obey signs and signals, use headlights and taillights at night, and use the correct lanes for turns and through movements and you won’t cause a collision with a motorist. About half of cyclist/motorist crashes are caused by cyclists who violate the basic rules of the road.
Some of the basic traffic laws that apply to bicyclists are the following: (a) A bicycle operated between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from 500 feet to the front and both a red reflector and a lamp on the rear exhibiting a red light visible from 600 feet to the rear. Section 316.2065(2), (3), (7), (8), and (14), F.S.); (b) Bicyclists must use a fixed, regular seat for riding; (c) A bicycle may not be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed or equipped; (d) An adult bicyclist may carry a child in a backpack or sling, child seat or trailer designed to carry children; (e) A bicyclist may not allow a passenger to remain in a child seat or carrier when not in immediate control of the bicycle; (f) At least one hand must be kept on the handlebars while riding; (g) Every bicycle must be equipped with a brake or brakes which allow the rider to stop within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.; (g) A cyclist on a roadway must ride on the side reserved for his direction of travel. Riding in the opposite direction, so asto face oncoming traffic, doubles the risk of collision with a motor vehicle and is a contributing factor in about 15 percent of bicycle-motor vehicle crashes. Motorists entering and leaving roadways at intersections and driveways do not expect traffic to approach from the wrong direction. See Section 316.081, F.S. (http://www.dot.state.fl.us/safety/ped_bike/laws/ped_bike_bikeLaws1.shtm)
3. Lane Positioning (Discourage other driver’s mistakes)
Knowing when to use the full lane or to share a lane is something few cyclists fully understand. Your position in a lane is the best way to make yourself conspicuous, to tell drivers what you are doing, and to discourage them from making unsafe movements. Some of the basics on lane positioning including the following: (a) A bicyclist who is not traveling at the same speed of other traffic must ride in a designated bike lane or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. A bicyclist may leave the right-most portion of the road in the following situations: when passing another vehicle moving in the same direction; when preparing for a left turn; when reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian , animal, surface hazard, or turn lane; when a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side; (b) A bicyclist operating on a one-way street with two or more traffic lanes may ride as close to the left-hand edge of the roadway as practicable; (c) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede traffic when traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions existing, and shall ride within a single lane.
4. There are evasive maneuvers you should know that can help you avoid major motorist mistakes or dodge obstacles. Knowing how to stop and turn quickly helps you avoid motorist mistakes that aren’t discouraged by lane positioning. These skills are not instinctive and must be taught.
5. Passive Safety (Protection when all else fails)
Helmets and gloves protect your most vulnerable body parts, but they do nothing to help you avoid crashes. Notwithstanding this, it is important to note that a bicycle rider or passenger under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted, fastened securely, and meets a nationally recognized standard.
Read more safety tips at http://www.floridabicycle.org/rules/driveyourbike.html#crashescyclist