As a Deerfield Beach bicycle accident attorney, I was sorry to see a short article about a bicyclist’s death on the road last week. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Nov. 16 that Danu A. E. White of Delray Beach was killed crossing North Dixie Highway in Boca Raton on Nov. 14. White was hit by a Chevy Impala driven by Aster Michaud of Boca Raton, who was not injured. The article did not give details of the crash, but did say that law enforcement would like more information. Anyone with information that may help is invited to call Traffic Homicide Investigator Mike Daly at (561) 338-1356.
Unfortunately, White’s death follows a series of other deaths and injuries to bicyclists in South Florida in 2009. I wrote on this blog in September about increasing tension between bicyclists and drivers after several accidents, as well as criminal charges for a cyclist who allegedly attacked a driver after a near-crash. Thanks to Florida’s mild climate, the fall and winter aren’t likely to significantly decrease the number of bicycles on the road — which means riders and drivers both need to keep their guards up and share the road. At the time, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Planning Association of Palm Beach County suggested that public education efforts would soon follow, focused on reminding bicyclists to follow the rules of the road — their legal obligation — and drivers to treat bicyclists as equals — their legal right,
It may not be clear yet who was at fault for the accident that killed White, but bicycle accidents in general are a growing problem in Florida and nationwide. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bicycle accidents are down a bit from their highest rate in 2005, but reached a high that year after years of steady decline. Just as interestingly, the bulk of bicycle accident victims are no longer children, but people ages 40 to 65 — suggesting that more and more adults are picking up bicycling as a form of transportation, exercise or recreation. With the economy down and fuel prices high, drivers are likely to see more, rather than fewer, bikes on the road. As a Hialeah bicycle accident attorney, I hope this leads drivers to begin expecting, and looking for, bicycles on the road, cutting down on these serious accidents.
Based in Hollywood, Cohn, Smith & Cohn represents seriously injured bicyclists and families of bicyclists killed by careless drivers. We handle only cases where an at-fault driver hit a bicyclist because of inattention, intoxication or road rage — all highly preventable accidents. Florida law makes these drivers and their insurance companies legally responsible for the damage they cause, but all too often, the insurer finds an excuse to deny a reasonable settlement. Our Davie bicycle accident lawyers will negotiate aggressively for a fair and complete settlement — or, if that won’t work, we can and will sue them to get the money our clients are legally entitled to receive. Our goal is always to make sure clients get they money they need to pay the steep medical bills an accident can cause, make ends meet and be thoroughly compensated for their injuries, their losses and any permanent disability or wrongful death.
If you or a loved one was hit by a careless driver while bicycling in Florida, you should call Cohn, Smith & Cohn to learn more about your legal options. To set up a free evaluation of your case, you can reach us at (954) 431-8100 or contact us through our Web site.