Fatal Auto-Bicycle Collisions In Florida
Many commuters choose bicycles as a healthy alternative to motorized vehicles as a way to get around town. But they would probably be surprised to learn that Florida has the highest death rate for bicyclists in the country. So much for healthy alternatives, right?
The Sad Facts
The truth is, bicyclists are at risk every time they take their bikes out on the road. The numbers verify this:
- There were 120 bicyclist fatalities in a single year in this state;
- Drivers typically involved in auto-bicycle collisions are aged 20-40;
- The majority of accidents occur between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays;
- Motorists are primarily responsible for twice as many collisions as are cyclists;
- Most accidents occur in intersections when drivers fail to yield;
- Left-turning motorists are a frequent cause of accidents;
- 15 percent of accidents occur when cyclists fail to yield.
Why Florida’s Safety Record is so abysmal
Many factors may be implicated in the dismal statistics:
- Weather that allows for bicyclists year-round;
- Wide roadways with high speed limits;
- Inadequate safety education programming;
- Inattentive drivers;
- Infrastructure issues such as limited bicycle paths;
- Ill-equipped cyclists.
The Most Dangerous Spots for Bicyclists
One study identified 35 Florida locations that are particularly dangerous for bicyclists. Researchers analyzed data covering three years and over 26,000 bicycle collisions (including over 500 fatalities). They compiled a list of noteworthy points related to the data:
- Accidents are most likely to occur at intersections with signals;
- Fewer accidents occur on roadways that have bike lanes;
- Inadequate street lighting contributes to auto-bicycle crashes;
- U-turns by both cyclists and motorists put bicyclists at risk;
- Bicyclists who ride against traffic are in much more peril than those who ride with traffic (as required by law);
- Nighttime accidents are generally more lethal than those that occur during daylight hours;
- Reflective clothing and bicycle lights make cyclists more visible to drivers;
- Helmets are the most important protective gear cyclists can have;
- 80 percent of bicyclists who were killed had absolutely no safety gear.
Following an Accident
If you or a loved one has experienced an auto-bicycle collision that resulted in serious injury or death, you are no doubt reeling from the grief, pain, and anger. You may also be facing expensive medical bills, lost wages, or even funeral costs. At the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton, we understand your pain, and will do our best to assist you in recovering these costs if the accident was due to the negligence or recklessness of a careless driver. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a free, confidential consultation today.