A 17-year-old student at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, was killed in a bicycle accident Wednesday, July 6.
According to representatives from the Florida Highway Patrol, the boy was riding his bike east on the sidewalk next to Palm Valley Road at approximately 5:20 p.m. that afternoon when he attempted to cross Palm Valley Road at a crosswalk over the bridge. However, he failed to observe traffic and was struck by a 2012 Toyota Corolla that was also heading east. He later died from his injuries at Baptist Medical Center Beaches. An accident report indicated he was not wearing a helmet.
The 29-year-old driver of the Corolla was not cited after the accident, as law enforcement officers were still investigating. Further details were not yet available.
Right-of-way rules for bicyclists
Bicyclists are considered to have equal rights to most roads as automobiles, which also means they must stop at stop signs, yield at yield signs and obey all other traffic laws. Likewise, the drivers of motor vehicles are expected to be safe and refrain from aggressive driving around bicyclists.
However, these rules apply only when the bicyclist is on the street. In this case, the bicyclist was on the sidewalk and was preparing to cross at a crosswalk. A person is considered a pedestrian if he or she is walking a bike across an intersection or crosswalk, but is considered a cyclist if he or she is riding the bike across an intersection or crosswalk.
Liability in the case would also depend on whether the crosswalk was at a light-controlled intersection.
To learn more about what you should do immediately after a Florida bicycle accident, speak with an experienced Sarasota County personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.