After this recent bicycle accident that killed a local Miami rider, it’s important to know that as a bike rider here in Florida, the roads can be tremendously dangerous.
In fact, here in Florida, the rates at which bike riders are struck and killed are the highest in the nation.
According to an article on Florida Phoenix (and based on federal statistics cited by the Wall Street Journal), “Florida has by far the highest per-capita bicyclist death rate in the country – the state’s recent 10-year cyclist fatality rate of 6.2 deaths per 100,000 residents is 59% higher than the rate in Louisiana, the state with the second-highest level.
The worst region of the state for bicyclist deaths has been Tampa Bay. In fact, the Tampa-St. Petersburg region led the nation in 2016-2017, and three other Florida major metropolitan areas were right behind – with Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami taking the 2-4 slots, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”
Drivers are often found to be negligent in these bicycle death accidents. The same can be said for the 20,000 yearly bicycle injuries that result from collisions with motor vehicles. Unfortunately, the rider of a bike is going to be severely impacted if struck by a car or truck. Children are especially at risk in these violent collisions.
Victims can easily suffer from:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, paralysis
- Back and neck injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Foot and ankle injuries
- Broken bones and compound fractures
In September of last year, the Orlando Sentinel wrote an eye-opening article, Florida is a Killing Field for Cyclists. Per the article, the reasoning for the high rate of incidence in Florida is “attributed to a combination of elderly drivers, tourists unfamiliar with roads, a relatively densely packed population and the increasing use of cell phones while driving – particularly texting.”
With the state’s new ban on texting while driving, we would hope to see some decrease in the bike accident numbers. And certainly, the use of a bike helmet can tremendously lower the risk of accident fatalities and longterm injuries. An article from The Guardian suggested that the use of bike helmets reduced the risk of serious head injuries by 70% – certainly a great point for children and adults alike.