Riding bicycles is a beloved pastime that many Floridians enjoy. In fact, riding bikes on Longboat Key or Siesta Key may even be on someone’s bucket list; however, what’s not on anyone’s bucket list is being in a bicycle accident. Unfortunately, bicycle crashes do happen frequently.
In 2012, 726 bicyclists were killed in bicycle accidents with motor vehicles and 49,000 were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This recent information indicates that about two people a day died in bicycle accidents, accounting for two percent of the total number of people killed and injured in traffic accidents in 2012. Sadly, the latest bicycle accident statistics reveal an increase in cycling deaths, as 682 bicyclists died in crashes in 2011. Also, the number of bicycle injuries increased from 48,000 in 2011 to 49,000 in 2012.
While riding bicycles remains a healthy and relatively safe activity, cyclists need to know the risks associated with bicycling so they can stay safe and avoid being in a bicycle crash. Bicyclists are at higher risk for being in a crash with a car when they participate in the following things:
- Riding during dawn, dusk, or nighttime.
- Drinking and riding.
- Riding two abreast or more.
- Failing to wear bright, visible colors.
- Not having adequate lights.
As you can see from this list, there are many risks of riding a bicycle—even the number of miles traveled. For example, the longer a bicyclist is on the road, the more miles he or she covers, which exposes a rider to more motor vehicles. However, according to the 2012 crash statistics from NHTSA, one of the biggest factors of bicycle fatalities was the time of day. About 30 percent of deadly bike crashes occurred between 4:00 p.m. and 7:59 p.m.
When bicyclists get struck by cars, they can suffer serious and even fatal injuries. While many people assume that inexperienced bicyclists are the ones who are involved in crashes, the statistics indicate that the average age of bicycle crash victims who are killed in crashes are 43-years-old who are hit by negligent drivers.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you should request a free copy of our book, What You Need to Know After a Florida Auto, Truck or Bike Accident.