316.2065 (9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
As such, a bicyclist is essentially considered a pedestrian when operating a bicycle on a sidewalk and crosswalk. It is important for all drivers to be on the look out for bicyclists in the community whether the bicyclist / cyclist is a toddler, child, teen, adult, or competitive cyclist of any age. Florida weather permits bicycle riding year round. As such, drivers should always be on the lookout for cyclist at all times. Unfortunately, far too many bicyclist are injured every year due to the negligent driving of others and / or distracted driving of others.
Many automobile accidents in the State of Florida as well as the rest of the country result from a rear end crash or collision. In most crashes, the driver, who crashed into the vehicle in front of him or her, is at fault. There are some exceptions to this general rule if there is a sudden and abrupt stop by the vehicle in front. Section 316.0895, Florida Statutes – Following Too Closely provides that driver’s shall not follow another motor vehicle more closely than is reasonably prudent. On Florida streets, highways, and roads, drivers should have due regard of the speed of other vehicles, traffic, road conditions, and weather when driving behind other vehicles and / or when approaching other vehicles.
In Jacksonville and North Florida, there are a number of bridges (large and small) that connect commuters to various areas over and beyond major waterways like the St. Johns River and the Intercoastal. Once such bridge is the Buckman Bridge. Construction began on the Buckman Bridge in 1964 and the Buckman Bridge was completed in 1970. The bridge spans over 16,000 square feet and connects the areas of Mandarin – San Jose (Duval County) to Orange Park (Clay County).
While driving upon any large bridge, there are many safety issues and problems that can arise. Traffic, congestion, and visibility can be factors that lead to crashes. Another problem inherent in bridge traffic is the inability to pull off the roadway to safety when there is a vehicle approaching that is about to cause a rear end accident. Tragically, there are crashes upon North Florida bridges that lead to serious personal injuries and even death. One such crash that took place on March 2, 2015 had the effect of shutting down a major part of Jacksonville / Orange Park traffic because the Buckman Bridge was closed to manage and investigate the crash scene.
Action News and other media outlets reported that a semi-tractor trailer crashed into a SUV just before 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon. It was reported that the driver of the large commercial tractor trailer noticed that traffic was slowing but was unable to bring his truck to a stop. This, in turn, led to a rear end type of crash. Thereafer, the SUV caught on fire and 4 occupants of this SUV died at the crash scene. It was reported that the 4 crash victims included 2 adults and 2 children. A second SUV was also involved in this Florida Automobile Accident. The 3 occupants of this vehicle were later treated at a local hospital for non life threatening personal injuries. You can read more about this Buckman Bridge crash at 4 Dead and 3 Injured in Buckman Bridge Fiery Crash.