A 20-year old foreign worker died in a biking accident on U.S. Highway 98 in late March. The tragedy is the third fatal bike accident in two years involving foreign workers visiting Florida.
Parichat Chatmas was biking to work along the highway on Thursday morning March 27. As part of a summer work visa program, Ms. Chatmas came to the United States from Bangkok just two weeks earlier to work and experience American culture. While trying to cross the busy highway, Ms. Chatmas was struck and killed.
Along with pedestrians and motorcyclists, bicyclists have little protection during a collision with a vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 726 pedalcyclists killed and 48,000 injured across the United States in 2012, a fatality rate more than six percent higher than 2011.
While bicycling is a healthy, interesting way to travel, it is also inherently dangerous. Consider these safety points next time you take your bike out:
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet.
- When riding on the road, you have the rights and must follow the rules of a vehicle. When riding on a sidewalk, follow pedestrian rules.
- Assume you are not seen. Wear bright clothes.
- Walk your bike at crosswalks
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of cars.
- Even if you have the right of way, yield to vehicles that do not slow.
- Steer around parked cars where you could strike a suddenly opened door.
Even safe, skilled bike riders suffer serious accidents in Florida. If you are injured in a bicycle accident, speak to an experienced injury attorney.