Ever since a car hit me while I was riding my bicycle, my life has changed. I can no longer take part in triathlons, and I think about my accident every time I get behind the wheel of a car. Not only do I still have some anger about what happened to me, but I also feel sympathy for other bicyclists on the road who are afraid because drivers don’t know how to stay in their lanes and obey the rules of the road.
There’s enough road for everyone—pedestrians, motorcyclists, vehicle drivers, and bicyclists—to walk and ride together safely if all parties remain vigilant. Unfortunately, people get injured every day because people ride negligently and risk both their lives and the lives of others.
Florida Bicycle Accident Statistics
I’ve done a lot of research regarding bicycle accidents since my accident occurred. Although my accident happened in Colorado, it turns out that bicyclists in Florida are almost twice as likely to get hit by a vehicle driver than any other state. This is scary to think about! I discussed this information with a car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach and got the inside scoop.
The lawyer showed me the numbers: statistics from 2007 to 2016 showed that Florida had 6.2 cyclist deaths per every 100,000 people, as opposed to Louisiana, the second-most dangerous state for cyclists, which had 3.9 deaths per every 100,000 people. So why was Florida almost twice as dangerous for cyclists than Louisiana and exceedingly more dangerous than other states in the country?
Many researchers contribute the increase in cyclist accidents for Florida to an overall high population density, many elderly drivers, and many tourist drivers. More traffic on the road leads to a greater number of accidents, whereas both elderly and tourist drivers are more likely to inadvertently drive negligently.
What Can Be Done?
The problems identified in Florida as causes of bicycle accidents can’t easily be prevented. However, Florida cities can do their best to help both tourists and elderly drivers see pedestrians and bicyclists more easily. Florida is working on making bike lanes wider and increasing night visibility at crosswalks.
As a bicyclist in Florida, the best thing you can do is be aware of potential risks and look out for your own safety. You should never trust that a driver will stop for you if you’re in a crosswalk. If you remain aware of your surroundings, you’ll have a better chance of preventing injuries.