Bicycle ridership in the Southwest Florida area is picking up. You’re probably noticing the increase more if you live on Sanibel or along one of the county’s many bike lanes. According to a recent survey, ridership at one intersection has just about doubled.
We’re talking about the intersection of Donax and Middle Gulf Drive. Just in a four-hour period, there were close to 1,000 bicyclists counted passing through this intersection. This is a near 95 percent increase from 2006, according to the Island Sun. With the increase in ridership comes an increase in the risks for fatal bicycle accidents.
Because there are so many more bicyclists, we’re asking motorists to be careful out there and to be cautious of our two-wheeled friends. Florida continuously ranks as one of the most dangerous states in the country for bicycle accidents.
“We will see where there are locations that need hard improvements or recommendations for (user) education,” said Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra.
Our Sanibel bicycle accident lawyers understand that there were nearly 620 bicyclists nationwide who were killed in motor vehicle-related traffic accidents in 2010. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released its newest numbers regarding these kinds of accidents. These fatal crashes account for about 2 percent of all of the roadway deaths for the year.
There were also more than 50,000 people who were injured in these kinds of crashes. The bottom line is that Florida, more than most states, needs to be more aware of bicyclists on the road.
In 2010, there were nearly 100 bicyclists killed in the state of Florida. The average age of bicyclists who were killed throughout the year was 42-years-old. This is a number that continues to increase with each passing year.
Although middle-aged bicyclists may be most at risk for these accidents, it’s important that we keep an eye on our young ones while they’re out pedaling around. Children between the ages of 5- and 15-years-old accounted for more than 10 percent of these traffic accident fatalities. These young travelers aren’t always able to comprehend the workings, the dangers and the risks that are associated with passing vehicles.
When and where are these accidents most likely?
-Most bicycle accidents happen between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7:59 p.m.
-The second most common time for these accidents is between 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.
-Most bicycle accidents happen in urban areas.
Whether you’re riding in these areas or during these times or you choose a safer time and place to ride, we still ask all bicyclists to do their part to navigate our roads safely. Be predictable, be noticeable and be visible. You can help to reduce your risks of an accident by becoming a smart biker. Be one step ahead of the traffic around you.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, is a dedicated law firm that offers assistance to victims and the families of victims of bicycle accidents on Sanibel Island, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Naples and Sebring. Call our bicycle accident lawyers for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. 1-800-283-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Bicycle Accident in Naples with Country Truck, Cyclist Ticketed, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, May 17, 2012
Officials Fighting Bicycle Accidents in Fort Myers with Ribbon Cutting of JetBlue Park, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, March 6, 2012