FLORIDA – According to an online news report at sarasotamagazine.com, Florida is one of the most deadliest states in the nation for bicyclists.*
Florida is one of the deadliest states in the nation regarding bicycle accidents. In 2016, one hundred thirty eight bicyclists died in accidents involving other vehicles. This is the highest per capita number of deaths of any state within the United States. The state with the second highest number of bicycle related fatalities was South Carolina, whith a rate about twenty five percent lower than Florida.
With this time mind, it is important to realize why these accidents are so prevalent in the State of Florida. These are as follows:
- Sidewalks that are narrow – in Florida, as well as in other states in the United States, sidewalks tend to be thinner because buildings are often constructed as close to the roadway as possible in order to create a walkable city like feel. This however, is harmful to bicyclists, especially those who are inexperienced, because they take to the sidewalks rather than the streets. Skinner sidewalks may lead to the potential of accidents.
- Utility poles that are dangerous – with skinner sidewalks comes utility poles that are positioned in the middle of sidewalks. This forces bicyclists to go to the left or the right to avoid striking them. This can lead to serious accidents due to the fact that as bicyclists attempt to avoid utility poles, they can lose their balance.
- Intersections that are hazardous – intersections across Florida can be dangerous due to impaired, distracted or drivers that are speeding. While roundabouts across the state help to reduce intersection related accidents, they are still prevalent as drivers fail to yield to bikers.
- Lack of education – oftentimes, bikers and drivers alike are unfamiliar with the rules of the road. “Everybody has ridden a bike as a child and so everybody thinks they’re an expert,” one road expert notes. “The fact is it’s a lot more complicated than that.”
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