As our Fort Lauderale injury attorneys have recently reported, the overall number of traffic accidents may be down in the state of Florida but there are a few important categories that actually saw some serious increases over the last year. These categories include pedestrian, bicyclist and motorcycle accidents, injuries and fatalities.
We are now going to focus in on the increase in the number of bicyclist accidents and the injuries and fatalities, as they continue to be critical concern in Broward County and through South Florida. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), there were 76 bicyclists killed in the state of Florida in 2010. That number increased by close to 60 percent to 120 fatalities in 2011.
About one out of every seven bicyclists who are killed in accidents are killed in the state of Florida. Even though California has about twice the population of the Sunshine State, Florida has more bicyclist fatalities, according to recent statistics.
Nearly half of all bicyclists who are killed in traffic accidents are killed in broard daylight. About a third of these cyclists die when it’s nighttime but the street is illuminated and the remainder of these fatalities happen when it’s completely dark out.
Bicyclists are also warned when riding during the weekend. As a matter of fact, Saturday has been recorded as the most dangerous day of the week, observing roughly 16 percent of all fatal bicycling accidents. Accidents on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday tied for being the second most dangerous — all seeing 15 percent.
Broward County is the second most dangerous county in the entire state for these kinds of accidents, only following Miami-Dade County. Unfortunately, many of our roadways are designed with only motor-vehicle traffic in mind. We need more sidewalks, more crosswalks and more amenities for bicyclists and pedestrians. These are measures that have been proven across the country to help to reduce the number of these kinds of accidents.
So why are these kinds of accidents on the rise? Well, officials credit a number of factors for the increase. One of the most frequently mentioned of these factors is the population growth. Florida has more than 5 times as many residents as it did back in the 50s, going from less than 3 million to more than 18 million.
Another factor commonly attributed to these accidents is tourism. As we celebrate the holiday season, we’re seeing some of the highest numbers of tourists out of the entire year. Officials estimate that more than 80 million people visited Florida in 2009. Lastly, officials say that the climate has something to do with it. Because we’re provided with nearly 365 days of ideal biking weather, people spend more time outside and on two wheels. With more bicyclists on our roadways, accident risks are higher.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycling accident, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Bicycling Along Broward Trails Just as Dangerous as Street Biking, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, October 10, 2012
Bicycling Safety in South Florida – Good Luck with That!, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, September 30, 2012