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Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

Florida leads nation in bicycle accidents

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Bicycle Safety |

Florida’s year-round nice weather means it is a popular state for alternative methods of transportation such as bicycling. Many residents and tourists also enjoy bicycling as a hobby or way to see Florida’s beautiful scenery while getting some exercise.

Unfortunately, bicyclists are often at risk of an accident from other drivers on the road. A recent report revealed that Florida leads the nation in the number of bicycle deaths.

The report, released by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, stated that 18 people on average are involved in a bicycle accident every day.

Statistics also showed that in 2023, over 8,000 people were in bicycle accidents, causing more than 200 deaths.

Common causes of bicycle accidents

There are many common causes of bicycle accidents. Drivers making left turns may fail to see a bicyclist. They might also fail to yield when appropriate, causing a crash.

Low visibility is another common cause of bicycle accidents. Since bicycles are small, they can sometimes be difficult to see. However, bicycles are usually no smaller than motorcycles, so drivers have a legal duty to watch out for them the same as they would any other vehicle.

Distracted driving is a common factor in almost all types of accidents, including bicycle accidents. Drivers who are distracted with their phones, music, navigation systems or other passengers make the roads unsafe, especially for those who are vulnerable, such as bicyclists.

In addition to distracted driving, drowsy and impaired driving reduces drivers’ ability to make smart decisions and puts others on the road, including bicyclists, at an increased risk of an accident.

Dangerous road conditions

Poor upkeep or maintenance by those who are responsible for maintaining the roads can lead to bicycle accidents.

Drivers who follow bicyclists too closely and fail to leave an adequate buffer zone create dangerous road conditions. The drivers are more likely to hit the bicyclist and leaves cyclists less able to avoid collisions with other vehicles.

Aggressive driving significantly increases the chance of a bicycle accident. Weaving through traffic, making unsafe lane changes, speeding or turning without looking are all forms of aggressive driving that can result in an accident with a bicyclist.

Tips for bicyclists

Bicyclists can stay safe on the roads by wearing bright colored clothing, always wearing a helmet and riding in the bicycle lanes with traffic.

You are still at risk from negligent drivers no matter how safe you are on your bicycle. In an accident between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, the bicyclist usually suffers serious injuries.

These injuries can cost you a lot, between hospital bills and time off work. The accident may cause you so much anxiety that you are afraid to get back on your bicycle.

Negligent drivers can be held accountable for their behavior through a personal injury action. Proving negligence can result in compensation that helps cover your expenses from the accident.


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