According to a report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association, Florida is the second deadliest state in the United States for bicyclists. From 2010 through 2012, 329 bicyclists died as a result of collisions with motor vehicles. California, the number one deadliest state, had slightly more fatalities during the same period with 338 cyclists dying.
Unfortunately, cyclist traffic deaths are on the rise nationally. From 2010 to 2012, bicycle fatalities increased nationally by 16%. In 2010, there were 621 cyclist traffic deaths and in 2012, the number rose to 722. During the period from 2010 through 2012, 6 states—California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan and Texas—were responsible for 54% of bicyclist fatalities. Even though bicycle fatalities have risen from 2010, the number has actually decreased from 1975 when researchers first started to track this data.
Common Patterns and Traits Among Bicycle Traffic Deaths
According to Allan Williams, a former top scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are certain patterns and characteristics among the people dying in bicycle and motor vehicle crashes. Specifically, adult males over the age of 20 are overwhelmingly likely to be one of the victims of bicycle fatalities.
For example, in 2012, adults 20 years and older comprised 84% of all bicyclist fatalities. Furthermore, males made up 74% of the cyclist deaths in 2012. Mr. Williams said that there are two significant factors that contribute to bicycle deaths involving motor vehicles: lack of riders wearing helmets and operating a bicycle under the influence of alcohol. The report from the Governors Highway Safety Association found that more than two-thirds of the bicyclists injured in 2012 were not wearing helmets.
In addition, almost one-third of the riders had a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater. Under Florida law (as well as most other states), this is the same blood alcohol concentration at which the driver of a motor vehicle is deemed too impaired to drive. A bicyclist, just like a driver of a car, may be charged and prosecuted for driving under the influence if the cyclist’s BAC is .08%. Florida law classifies a bicycle as a vehicle.
Florida’s Bicycle Statute
Given the number of injuries and deaths that occur on bicycles, Florida has its own bicycle statute to protect the safety and well being of bicyclists, as well as motorists and pedestrians on the street. Florida’s bicycle statute imposes certain requirements and limitations on cyclists.
For example, bicyclists riding upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roads meant exclusively for bicyclists. Also, the statute requires every bicycle to use a lamp between sunset and sunrise. If a bicyclist fails to follow Florida’s bicycle regulations then the bicyclists may be liable for injuries and damages caused in a bicycle crash.
Contact a Miami, Florida Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, a Miami bicycle accident attorney can help you with your case. A Miami bicycle accident attorney at the Perez-Gurri Law Firm will handle all aspects of your bicycle accident case to make sure you recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact an experienced Miami bicycle accident attorney at the Perez-Gurri Law Firm to find out how to recover compensation for your injuries. We offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Do not wait before it is too late.