Ft. Lauderdale Hit and Run Crash Resulted in Bicyclist's Death
2017 began disastrously for a 19-year old bicyclist in Ft. Lauderdale. On the evening of New Year's Day as he was biking on Powerline Road, his bike was struck on the back by a car that allegedly kept on going. The bicyclist sustained severe head trauma and later died.
Witnesses helped police find the suspect vehicle and the driver. The driver is being held with a charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death.Florida Has the Highest Rate of Fatalities in Bicycle Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2015 that our state has the highest rate of bicycling deaths in the U.S. - 0.57 per 100,000 people, which is more than twice as high as the U.S. rate of 0.23.
Florida has a plan developed in 2013 for the Department of Transportation for addressing this serious problem using what they call the 3 E's:
Engineering. Make bike lanes wider, increasing them from 4 feet to 7 feet wide. This will give bicyclists more room when traveling alongside speeding cars. The study suggests that changes like repaving roads and reducing car lane widths can be done at little cost to existing roads. A longer-term solution is a "complete streets policy" where roads are built to coordinate with the location. As an example, in a busier area, the car lanes will be narrower with lower speed limits. The report, however, acknowledged that infrastructure and policy changes are difficult and take a long time.
Education. Motorists need the kinds of grassroots education programs that are now in place in some areas of Florida including Tampa and Fort Myers. Participants learn about roadway safety and become ambassadors for bicycle and pedestrian safety. Non-profit groups also provide information on bicycling safety and local bicycle trails.
Enforcement. Backers of the DOT's strategic plan are looking for funding for increased law enforcement including targeting distracted drivers who text while driving.
More than 180 people were killed in hit and run accidents in Florida in 2015. The law requires that a driver must stop at the scene of an accident on public or private property where there has been an injury or death.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a felony and a serious offense. If convicted, the driver loses his license for at least 3 years and may be imprisoned for a mandatory minimum of 4 years.Let Us Help if You Have Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident
If you or a family member has been injured in a bicycle accident or car accident or by any type of personal injury, please contact the Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A. immediately. Our experienced attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Diana Santa Maria and Laura D. Dolin, personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at (954) 434-1077 or contact us via the website.