Florida is Ranked the Most Dangerous State to Ride a Bike: South Florida Bike Injury Attorney Shares Safety Tips
South Florida Bike Injury Attorney: Florida is the Most Dangerous State to Ride a Bike
A recent report named Florida the most dangerous state to ride a bike.
In 2019, 846 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in the United States. Nearly 50,000 bicyclists were injured in 2019. The report was based off of NHTSA’s 2017 data which noted 783 cyclists killed in traffic accidents, with Florida taking the lead with 125 bicycle deaths, according to a news report. That means Florida’s bicycle deaths accounted for 16% of bicycle fatalities nationwide.
Bicycle deaths are often caused by:
- Failure to yield to right of way (about 40%)
- Bicyclists not visible to drivers (wearing dark clothes, not having the correct bike lighting) (about 10%)
- Failing to obey traffic signs, signals, etc (nearly 10%)
A 2019 AAA survey of 400 bicyclists in Florida found that:
- 36% of bicyclists in Florida do not wear helmets
- 56% of bicyclists in Florida ride with traffic
- 21% of bicyclists in Florida ride against traffic (¾ of them saying because they prefer to see approaching vehicles)
If there is a collision between a car and a bicyclist, it’s most likely that the cyclist will be seriously injured. Many crashes can be avoided if drivers and cyclists follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other. By law, bicycles on the roadway are considered vehicles in Florida and have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers and cars – which means that you cannot bike against the flow of traffic, as many reportedly do according to the survey data above.
The 2 most common types of bike crashes, according to NHTSA, are falls and collisions with cars or other motor vehicles. One in 4 fatal bike crashes involved a bicyclist who had been drinking alcohol. Did you know you can get a DUI while riding a bike in Florida? Not only is it illegal, it’s incredibly dangerous. Most bike accident deaths happen between 6 – 9 p.m.
Here are some crash prevention tips from NHTSA
- Be prepared before heading out with all the right gear and a properly fitted bike
- Bike Defensively – be alert and try to anticipate what drivers may do. Ride with the flow of traffic and obey all traffic signals. Assume that others don’t see you. Don’t text or listen to music while cycling.
- Bike Predictably – ride where people expect to see you, and make sure you look over your shoulder before changing lanes or turning. Be extra cautious on sidewalks as cars may not be looking for you backing out of a driveway.
Another reason riding a bike in South Florida is so dangerous is the rate of uninsured drivers. More than 20% of drivers in Florida DO NOT have car insurance. That means that if you’re hit by a driver, there is a 1 in 5 chance that they have no type of insurance to cover your medical bills or pay for your pain and suffering.
Tips for Bicyclists’ Safety in South Florida
- Follow the Rules of the Road: A large percentage of bicycle and car collisions can be avoided if both drivers and cyclists follow the rules of the road and keep an eye out for each other.
- Wear a Properly Fitted Helmet: While not a legal requirement, everyone – no matter their age – should wear a helmet. A helmet should be the right size for your head, it should be positioned correctly, including side straps, buckles, and a chin strap fitting snugly. Fake a big yawn to see if the helmet pulls down on your head once it’s on. If not, you may need to tighten the chin strap.
- Adjust Your Bicycle to Fit: Riding a bike that fits you properly can help avoid a crash because a bike that is too big is harder to control.
- See & Be Seen: During the day wear bright colored clothing, and if you choose to ride at night wear reflective gear and have a white light in front, and a red light in the back of your bike. Also make sure that your bike has reflectors.
- Avoid Riding at Night: It’s much harder for a driver to see you when it’s dawn, dusk, or nighttime. If you ride at night make sure you have the correct lights and reflectors on your bike.
- Watch for Road Hazards: Always keep a look out for potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, palm tree leaves, dogs and pedestrians. These hazards and many others can cause a crash.
- Use Verbal and Nonverbal Communication: Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you, use appropriate turn signals, and if you’re passing pedestrians make sure you say “on your left” or “on your right” before passing. If you’re riding with other cyclists, point out hazards such as potholes.
- Plan your Route: If you’re going to bike on roads, choose roads with less traffic and slower speed limits. Bike lanes and bike paths are always good options. In South Florida, you can also ride on sidewalks.
- Find more safety tips at the NHTSA Bike Safety Hub.
Injured While Biking in South Florida? Our Coral Springs Bike Injury Attorney Offers FREE Consultations
If you or someone you love suffered injuries while riding a bike or an E-Bike in Florida, a personal injury lawsuit may be the only way that you can fully recover financially.
Many injured riders are eligible to seek compensation for the expenses related to the accident, including emergency medical treatment and long-term care needs, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and lost wages, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering.
The Law Office of Andrew G. Rosenberg, P.A. is here to help bicyclists and E-Bike riders who careless or negligent drivers injured start the process of financial recovery. If you were hurt in an E-Bike accident, you need to speak with an experienced Florida bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Please contact us online or call our Coral Springs office directly at (954) 755-7803 to schedule your free consultation. We proudly serve Florida residents, including all of Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, and all points in between.