Key Points of this Article
- Known as salmoning, bicycling against the flow of traffic can be up to 3x as dangerous as riding with the flow of traffic, and is against the law.
- Bicyclists and drivers both share responsibility to operate their vehicles safely, and in the age of distracted driving, must be more vigilant than ever.
- In 2019, Florida saw the top percentage of bicycle deaths in the US.
A growing problem in the Tampa Bay area is the trend for bicyclists to ride against traffic instead of with it. Known as salmoning, this is actually against the law in Florida, which requires bicyclists to travel with the flow of traffic. But why does the direction a cyclist takes matter? When it comes to the risk of personal injury, it matters a great deal. One study shows that salmoning results in three times as much danger for adult cyclists, and seven times as much for children. AAA’s 2019 Consumer Pulse survey on bicycle safety, which interviewed about 400 Florida residents, found that 21% of bicyclists ride against traffic.
Understanding Safe Cycling
It can be a common practice for parents to actually teach their children to ride bikes the wrong way. The thought behind this is that not only can drivers see the kids, but the children can also see oncoming traffic. While this may seem like a good idea, it can become tragic when translated to busy streets and intersections. According to ABC Action News, some cyclists cite that riding against the flow of traffic actually makes them feel safer. However, this is an illusion. The truth is, going against the flow of traffic is dangerous not only for the cyclist but also for drivers on the road. Salmoning cyclists can cause treacherous conditions for other cyclists traveling the correct way, forcing one or both cyclists to swerve, perhaps into oncoming traffic. Additionally, cyclists looking to avoid longer routes may salmon on one-way streets, causing deadly crashes for drivers who don’t know to look both directions before turning. Similarly, cars exiting driveways, whether commercial or residential, may not think to look the wrong way for an oncoming bicyclist. The risk for this is even worse with distracted driving.
How to Avoid A Bicycle Accident
In 2019,Florida had the most bicycle accident fatalities in the United States. Because they share the road, bicyclists and drivers both share responsibility to operate their vehicles safely. Here are some tips to avoid accidents for cyclists and drivers alike.
- Stay focused. Driving/riding distracted increases your chances of an accident.
- Look both ways before turning. Even if you are turning onto a one-way street, look both directions first. Not everyone follows the law.
- Use safety measures. Wear your seatbelt and a helmet whenever in your car or on your bike.
- Follow traffic laws. The rules of the road are there for a reason!
If you are in a bicycle accident, stay calm and stay put. After contacting the authorities and seeking proper medical advice, call an attorney to help guide you through the personal injury process. They can provide you with valuable information to get you off on the right foot after the tragedy of an accident.
Finding Power and Peace of Mind In Tampa Bay
Understand this about the aftermath of a bicycle or auto accident: Personal injury attorneys usually help you on a contingency-fee-basis, where you are not charged unless you win a settlement for your injuries.
This comes as a huge relief after a traumatic accident that has affected you physically, emotionally and financially. With the right legal assistance, you have the power to pursue injury compensation without worrying about what it will cost, so you can move forward with your life.
When Results Matter, Call Kemp, Ruge & Green of Tampa Bay
Regardless of the reason for your injury, if someone else caused it, the only way you can recover from your medical bills and other losses is through a personal injury claim. The attorneys at Kemp, Ruge & Green Law Group handle many areas of personal injury law, including car accidents. We believe you should only have to work on getting well, while we worry about using the justice system to protect your rights. We give our clients with the best possible results-driven service. You pay us only if we win in injury cases. Call 877-941-4878 today for a free consultation.