More bicyclists are killed and injured in accidents in Florida than any other state in the country according to a new report by the State Department of Transportation. Cycling accidents claimed 139 lives the state in 2014, the last year that statistics are available.
The deaths from bicycle crashes in Florida makes up 20% of all bicycle-related deaths nationwide.
Recent Deaths add to Grim Toll
The Gainesville Sun reported that the new study identified several ‘hot spots’ throughout the state where cycling accidents happen most frequently. Areas in Gainesville and Fort Lauderdale are among the most dangerous. Just in the last week, a Gainesville cyclist was killed in a crash, and a woman riding a bicycle was struck and killed by an off-duty police officer driving a pick-up truck near Ocala. Cities are the most dangerous places to ride bicycles. More than 900 cyclists had crashes with cars last year in the greater Miami area.
Experts say that car drivers are responsible for cycling accidents almost half of the time. The study showed that cyclists are much safer if they wear helmets. It also helps to use reflective clothing and go in the same direction of the car traffic. Most of those killed or severely injured in bicycle crashes were not wearing helmets.
A jury in Fort Lauderdale awarded $3 million last week to the widow of a man who died after his bicycle crashed into a landscaping trailer parked on a bike path.