New information from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration shows Florida to be the most dangerous and deadliest state in the nation for bicyclists. Many of its cities are located near the tops of the rankings for the most dangerous cities for cyclists, as well.
Florida has 6.2 deaths per every 100,000 people in cycling accidents, a per-capita rate 60 percent higher than the next-closest state, Louisiana. The research looked at deaths from 2007 to 2016.
The Tampa-St. Petersburg area was the most dangerous metropolitan area in the nation for bicyclists, with 7.0 deaths per 100,000 people. It was followed closely by Jacksonville (6.0), Orlando (5.8), Miami (5.4) and Sacramento, California (4.8).
There were 840 bicyclists killed in the United States in 2016, the most recent year for which complete data is available. That marked the most cyclist deaths in the United States since 1991 and a 35 percent increase since 2010.
The number of cyclist deaths in the state actually decreased to 116 in 2017, which was the fewest since 2010. This year, the state is on pace for about 130 cyclist deaths.
What makes Florida so dangerous for cyclists?
There are a variety of factors that make Florida such a dangerous state for cyclists and pedestrians.
The larger number of elderly drivers doesn’t help matters — Florida is the most popular state in the nation for retirees. There are also many tourists, who may not be familiar with the roads. Finally, there is a relatively dense population distribution in the state, which always increases the likelihood of such accidents.
Others point to the rise of distracted driving and the ubiquity of smartphones. Alcohol is still a factor, but it is distracted driving that really has state officials concerned.
For more information on how to proceed with a personal injury claim if you’ve been injured in a cycling accident due to the actions of a negligent driver, consult an experienced Florida attorney with Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.