Florida is the No. 1 worst place for bicyclists who prize their safety. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released statistics revealing the bicycle death rate in this state is 0.57 deaths per 100,000 people – the highest of anywhere in the nation. In fact, the state with the second-highest rate, Delaware, clocked in at 0.38 deaths per 100,000 people.
There are a number of issues, including the fact that we have an abundance of tourists, who are unfamiliar with the area and driving patterns. Distracted driving is a major problem, and we have cyclists year-round, so there are bound to be more crashes.
News-Press Reporter Janine Zeitlin noted all of this a few years ago, and quit riding her bicycle on public roads because of the risks. But then, as the number of bicycle-versus-car accidents continued to mount, as did severe injuries and deaths and light penalties for drivers, she began to aggressively report on the issue. According to a new article by the Columbia Journalism Review, with backing from her editors, Zeitlin not only delved into a long-term, in-depth progress on the issue, she helped set up a “Share the Road” page on the newspaper’s website, a community page on Facebook and engaged with bicycle safety advocacy groups across the region to raise awareness of the problem. Continue reading →