Bike Accidents: May 2009 Archives

May 1, 2009

Florida Bicycle Accident Deaths Highest in Nation

Florida bike riders suffered the most bicycle accident deaths in 2007 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Approximately 119 to 121 deaths resulted from 4,847 bike crashes in Florida in 2007.  Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach County ranked amongst the highest death totals, with 6, 12, and 10 bicycle accident deaths, respectively.  Nationally, Florida had more bike deaths than California and New York.

There are many suspected contributing factors behind Florida's dubious ranking.  One such factor is the year-round biking season which provides more opportunity for potential bike accident deaths and injuries.  Other such factors, however, include the multitude of Florida automobiles, a lack of necessary bike lanes, and a lack of safety education on the part of both auto drivers and bicyclists.

Bicycle safety is key for both the bike rider and the automobile driver when traveling on South Florida roads.   All too often, drivers fail to keep a proper lookout for bicyclists either sharing the roadway or traveling in designated bike lanes.  The NHTSA suggests that drivers give three feet of clearance when passing bicyclists, yield to cyclists at intersections, and to be mindful of cyclists' presence when turning, opening doors, and pulling out of parking spaces.  Likewise, bicyclists should wear proper safety equipment, obey the rules of the road, and increase their visibility by wearing bright colors and equipping their bikes with reflectors and lights.

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