With its warm temperatures and nearly constant sunny days, Florida is a haven for bicyclists. Residents as well as visitors take to the roadways on their bicycles for exercise, touring and recreation; some use them as a primary mode of transportation. Bicycling can be a relaxing, enjoyable activity, and it is relatively safe. It also has a dark side. Florida’s bicycling accident statistics tell the gruesome story.
Florida Bicycling Accident Statistics Are the Highest in the U.S.
Last year, it was reported that bicycle fatalities were up nationally. Despite initiatives to make the activity safer, Florida remains the state with the highest number of bicycle-accident deaths. Florida has held the lead in efforts to promote bicycle safety, yet none of those efforts have diminished the number of fatalities.
While other states can learn from the safety initiatives put in place by Florida officials, it is obvious still more needs to be done. Though California has nearly twice the population of Florida, there were 7.4 deaths per million residents in Florida as compared to 3.3 deaths per million in California. These numbers reflect the most recent data available, which is from 2015. Nationally, that year, the rate was 2.5 fatalities per million residents.
A Right to the Road – A Report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)
This report, A Right to the Road: Understanding & Addressing Bicyclist Safety, was published in 2017. Authored by Pam Fischer, a traffic safety expert, the report analyzes data from bicycle-motor vehicle crashes throughout the country and offers specific suggestions on how communities can improve safety programs for bicyclists.
Fischer acknowledges the initiatives implemented in Florida to promote bicycle safety. She also encourages other states to take a look at what Florida is doing to keep bicyclists safe on the roadways. Still, more needs to be done.
Addressing the Problem
The matter of lowering the bicyclist accident statistics in Florida is not an easy fix. It will require a coming together of infrastructure, motorists and bicyclists to make the roadways safer. Education about the issue, rules of the road, road design and enforcing traffic laws are all part of the solution, according to Fischer.
The sunny skies and warm weather are perfect for taking a trek on your bicycle. Follow the traffic laws, stay alert and have fun. Don’t become one of Florida’s bicyclist accident statistics.
Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., law offices in Englewood, North Port and Port Charlotte offer a complimentary initial consultation to southwestern Florida residents in need of legal services. We specialize in personal injury law, and we work for you to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Contact us today for more information.