Broward and Miami-Dade Counties have a higher number of bicycle fatalities and injuries than any other county in the state, according to a recent Florida Department of Transportation study.
That dubious distinction places Broward and Miami-Dade right at the top of the list of counties targeted in a state program to improve bicycle safety.
Our Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident attorney is an aggressive advocate for victims injured by the negligence of others.
According to the Florida DOT, between 2007 and 2011, there were 532 bicycle-related traffic fatalities in the state. A total of 21,935 were injured in bicycle accidents.
Placing those numbers into a national context, even though Florida represented only six percent of the U.S. population in 2011, the state accounted for 17.4 percent of all U.S. bicycle fatalities. The state had a bicycle fatality rate of .63 per 100,000 persons, appreciably higher than the national fatality rate of .23.
Understanding the existence of a serious bicycle safety problem, the Florida DOT authorized the development of a strategic safety plan which, as a threshold issue, identified the most dangerous counties in the state which will be given priority under the program.
In analyzing the crash data, the DOT concluded that the 10 Florida counties with the highest number of bicycle fatalities and injuries were Broward, Miami-Dade, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Orange, Duval, Palm Beach, Pasco, Lee, and Alachua.
These counties had 62 percent of all bicycle fatalities and injuries in Florida from 2007 through 2011.
In a further statistical breakdown, the Florida DOT counted 36 bicycle fatalities for Miami-Dade County between 2007 and 2010 (the crash data for 2011 was unavailable). Broward County experienced 33 bicycle fatalities over the same period, tying Orange and Palm Beach Counties for the second most in the state.
Broward County had 2036 bicycle injuries between 2007 and 2010, the most of any county. Miami-Dade came in second with 1839 injuries, well ahead of the third-worst county in the state, Pinellas (1697).
For 2011, Miami-Dade had a bicycle fatality and injury rate of 22.94 per 100,000, with Broward having a fatality/injury rate of 20.62. Pinellas County had the highest fatality and injury rate in the state – 38.04.
The Florida DOT strategic plan pledges the state to use a “unified, comprehensive approach” to ensure that all areas of the state’s transportation system provide “safe and accessible travel options” for bicycles.
Key proposals under the safety plan include:
* The statewide collection of crash report data with the aim of identifying accident causes and specific danger zones;
* The creation of educational and licensing programs promoting the safe sharing of roadways by motorists and bicyclists;
* The use of highway and traffic engineering to improve the safety of Florida’s roadways for bicyclists;
* A greater emphasis by law enforcement and emergency services on improving safety for bicycle riders;
* The creation of communication programs designed to improve public awareness of bicycle safety issues; and
* A review of traffic laws and regulations to ensure they are consistent with the goal of protecting bicyclists.
If you have been injured, call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at 954-256-7908.