According to the newly-released statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of bicyclist fatalities in the state of Florida is on the rise.
In 2010, there were fewer than 85 bicyclists killed in the Sunshine State. That’s a significant increase compared to the 2011 statistics, where we saw close to 150 bicyclist fatalities. We were ranked as the most dangerous state in the entire country based on these fatality statistics.
Our Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyers understand that transportation officials have been boasting about a decline in the number of traffic accident fatalities, but many of them forget to note that the number of bicyclist fatalities is actually on the rise. From 2010 to 2011, our nation saw a close to 10 percent increase in the number of these fatalities. In 2011, there were close to 700 bicyclists killed in traffic accidents across the nation. There were an additional 50,000 bicyclists injured in these same accidents. These crashes, injuries and fatalities accounted for about 2 percent of the people who were injured in traffic accidents throughout the year.
This is especially important in the state of Florida because many enjoy cycling for transportation, recreation and fitness. Our state is blessed with beautiful biking weather year round, making for the perfect conditions to get out and pedal. Unfortunately, this weather contributes to the increase in our risks for accidents.
Bicyclists are asked to be especially careful when traveling during the evening hours. As a matter of fact, a majority (or 30 percent) of these accidents happened between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. The second most common time frame for these accidents was between 8:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.
Throughout the year, the average age of bicyclists killed in traffic crashes was 43. Over the last 10 years, the age of injury and fatality victims has been on the rise.
Of all bicyclists, those between the ages of 45 and 54 had the highest fatality rate based on population. The highest injury rate occurred among those between the ages of 16 and 20.
If you’re a guy, you face the highest risk. As a matter of fact, close to 90 percent of those who were injured or killed in a bicycling accidents in 2011 were male.
Any kind of change to help to correct these numbers is going to have to come from drivers. All too often, driver inattention is credited for causing these accidents. We all have to remember that these two-wheeled travelers have rights to our roadways, too. And those rights need to be protected.
Take that extra second to actually look for a bicyclist before turning or making a move in traffic. That extra second could help to save a life and keep you out of a legal headache.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.
More Blog Entries:
Cell Phone-Using Drivers Endangering South Florida Cyclists and Pedestrians, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, April 9, 2013
Fort Lauderdale Traffic Safety — Accidents on the Rise, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, March 2, 2013