Florida is the most dangerous state in the entire country when it comes to bicyclist fatalities. According to newly-released numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 125 bicyclists killed on Florida roadways in 2011.
Nationwide, there were close to 700 bicyclists who were killed in traffic accidents in 2011. That mean’s nearly 1 in 5 fatal bicycle accidents in the United States occurred in Florida! In addition to those fatalities, there were nearly 50,000 bicyclists injured along the way. And these risks don’t appear to be getting any better. The NHTSA reports that there was a near 10 percent increase in the number of bicyclists killed in 2011 from 2010.
Our Weston bicycle accident lawyers understand that bicyclists should be a little more cautious while pedaling during the evening hours. These accidents were most likely to happen between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. Close to a third of recorded fatalities happened during this time, followed by the hours from 8:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.
According to the latest numbers, the average age of bicyclists killed in traffic accidents is on the rise. It’s actually been increasing each year over the last 10 years. In 2011, the average age of bicyclists killed in traffic accidents was 43.
Overall, bicyclists between the ages of 45 and 54 had the highest fatality rate. On the other hand, the highest injury rate were to riders between the ages of 16 and 20.
Officials with the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) are asking bicyclists to help to protect themselves from the risks associated with dangerous drivers. You’re asked to strap on a helmet. As a matter of fact, proper use of a bike helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by close to 90 percent. In the state of Florida, children under the age of 16 who are riding a bike or are a passenger on a bike are required by law to wear a helmet.
Regardless of how old you are, safety should always be your number one priority while pedaling the town on two wheels. To help keep your safe, BSO officers are here with some important tips:
-Make sure that your helmet fits properly.
-Check your bike frequently. Making sure it’s in good-working order will help to keep you out of an accident.
-Make sure that you’re riding on marked paths whenever they’re available.
-If you have to ride on the street, make sure that you’re riding with the flow of traffic. You never want to head straight into oncoming traffic.
-Always wear bright-colored clothing and make sure you can be easily seen by passing motorists.
-Keep an eye on your surroundings. Be on the lookout for not only motor vehicles, but also for other bicyclists and pedestrians.
-Make sure you’re always using the proper hand signals to let traffic around you know where you’re headed.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact Freeman & Mallard for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
South Florida Bicycle Accidents a Spring and Summer Risk, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, April 12, 2013
Bike-Sharing Program Plans in Miami – Beware Accident Risks, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, February 2, 2013