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Accident with HART Bus Takes Life of Local Bicyclist in Tampa: How Can You Protect Yourself?

Bicycles are a common mode of transportation for residents in and around Tampa. Our year-round mild weather, large downtown scene, and many areas with lanes dedicated to those traveling on bicycles make it a prime place to spot people out on bikes…
and a prime location for bicycle accidents. 
 
Unfortunately, where you have bicyclists and motorists sharing the roadways, accidents will happen. Just last Friday, a 54-year old Tampa bicyclist was struck and killed by HART bus 1406 as he traveled near the intersection of North Nebraska Avenue and East Fern Street. The man, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was riding on the street, and became a victim of an all-too-common occurrence: not being visible to other drivers. Particularly, not being visible to drivers of large-scale vehicles like buses, semi-trucks, or commercial work vehicles. We are saddened to hear of another senseless death due to factors that could be prevented.
Do you travel by bike as you head to work, school, or social engagements in Downtown Tampa or the surrounding areas? Here are a few ideas to keep in mind as you consider protecting yourself on the roads without giving up your love for biking.
  1. NEVER travel in the dark without reflective clothing and/or a light of some kind. With today’s wide variety of bike accessories, you can get flashing lights to clip onto the front/back of your bike that make you easily visible to oncoming traffic. You can also get lights to attach to your helmet, special reflective tape to use on your clothing or shoes, and more. These make sure you’re seen by motorists whether you’re on your bike, or on foot.
  2. Give large-scale vehicles plenty of clearance, even if you have the right of way. It’s always best to assume a driver doesn’t see you, and driving on the defensive is a must when you are on a bicycle as you have less protection to protect your body. If you’re coming alongside a bus or commercial vehicle, or if you plan to make a turn across traffic, use extra caution and always give more room than you think you need.
  3. When provided, use the bicycle lane and try to stay closer to the sidewalk/barrier than the “traffic” side of the given space. This makes sure you’re as far away as possible from passing traffic, and will give the most clearance to you so you’re better protected from being swiped by other vehicles.
The team at Brooks Law Group sends our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the victim of last weekend’s accident in Tampa, and we hope these tips provide the inspiration that will protect other bicyclists in the Tampa Bay area from a similar fate. If you or someone you love have been injured by another driver while on a bike or while on foot, our skilled and experienced attorneys are here to fight for the justice you deserve and the compensation you need to move forward and heal. We provide FREE, no-obligation consultations to victims and/or their families, so you can learn more about our services and how they will help you in your journey toward justice. Call us or schedule your consultation today!
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