Bicycling is considered to be a very healthy activity whether it be for pleasure or for sport. However, Florida needs to take immediate action. A recent study that was published showed that the Sunshine State “had the nation's highest proportion of bicyclist fatalities at 7.4 percent in 2015.” The study used research from 2015 because it was the most recent complete data that was available at this time.
Experts have agreed that it is likely that Florida’s roadways were designed for cars, and not for bicyclists and pedestrians. This lack of foresight has caused a large increase in bicycle accidents throughout the state. However, this is not only a Florida problem but is nationwide as well. Nearly 12.2% of bicycle accidents throughout the country have resulted in fatalities, which is also an increase from previous years and has now been found to be outpacing traffic fatalities.
Years ago, it was kids that were typically hurt in bicycle accidents. However, the study from 2015 had found that the recent median age for bicycle accidents is actually now 45 years old. Typically, most of the accidents have been blamed on distracted drivers. In a 2017 study, drivers were considered to be at fault 16% more of the time compared to bicyclists, 46% of the time for drivers compared to 30% for bicyclists.
While Florida deals with this horrible epidemic, what can you do as a bicyclist to be safe? The 2017 study found that wearing a helmet and reflective gear caused a drastic decrease in the likelihood of death when in a bicycle accident. Nearly 80% of the individuals that passed away due to a bicycle accident did not have a helmet on or reflective gear. Also, it is better to ride during the day then at night as more fatalities typically occurred at night. Finally, make sure to follow all traffic signals and when in doubt yield and/or stop as nearly 15% of accident occurred because the bicyclist failed to do so. Finally, when possible, ride on the sidewalk as fewer accidents that occurred on a sidewalk resulted in fatalities.
It will take some time to make the roads safer for bicyclists. Therefore, it is up to you to protect yourself and to be safe while riding. If you or anyone you know is ever injured in a bicycle accident, be sure to call the Bicycle Accident Attorneys of the Nicoletti Law Firm at (727) 845-5972. You should not be held responsible for the medical bills, expenses, and the pain and suffering that results due to the negligence of another. Stay safe everyone!