SWFL Among Nation’s Deadliest Areas for Cyclists

Both Lee and Collier counties are among the deadliest counties in the nation for bicyclists, according to new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In fact, 14 of the deadliest counties in America for bicycle riders were located in Florida. bicyclesafety-300x225

Lee County’s 29 cycling deaths gave it a death rate per 100,000 of nearly 4. Bad enough to rank it 13th deadliest in the nation. Our bicycle accident lawyers have long flagged the Sunshine State as the nation’s most dangerous for both cyclists and walkers, a fact again supported by the latest statistics. Pasco, Sarasota and Manatee counties were the three deadliest in the nation. Other Florida counties on the list include Pinellas (5), Volusia (7), Marion (9), Hillsborough (10), Duval (12), Brevard (14), Osceola (16), Broward (17), Polk (18), and Collier (20).

Collier’s 12 cycling deaths gave it 3.19 deaths per 100,000.

How Drivers Can Avoid Bicycle Accidents in SWFL

Winter is prime riding season in Southwest Florida because the temperatures are moderate (or as moderate as they are going to get) and torrential rains are less of a threat than they are during the long summer rainy season. With traffic at its annual zenith through the height of tourist season, our bicycle accident attorneys in Fort Myers and Cape Coral want to focus on the behavior of motorists, and what can be done to reduce the risks of being blamed for causing a collision with a cyclist.

  • Give them the Right of Way: Allow riders to pass. The few extra moments it takes is well worth avoiding a collision. Make no mistake: If you strike a cyclist with a motor vehicle, serious or fatal injury will result.
  • Intersection Safety: Look twice. Drive slowly. Signal your intentions. Listen carefully. Intersections are always among the most dangerous locations on the road. But particularly through the height of spring break and tourist season, expect pedestrians, jaywalkers, bicycle riders, barefoot walkers. Expect the unexpected. Your vehicle is very likely last to enjoy the legal right of way. Pay attention. Look twice. Look three times.
  • Pay attention: Vulnerable road users – and this includes walkers and motorcycle riders, as well as cyclists – are always at increased risk when it comes to being struck by distracted drivers. They are more likely to be hard to see, more likely to be in tourist or other high-traffic areas, and more likely to be seriously or fatally injured if struck.
  • Dooring: Look behind you before opening the door. Particularly when opening a door streetside after parallel parking. A significant number of serious cycling accidents happen when a motorist opens a door into the path of an oncoming rider.
  • 2s a Crowd: Beware when making turns. Cyclists enjoy the same rights as motor vehicles. An oncoming cyclist has the right of way over a turning motorist. Even if a rider’s approach is slower than motoring traffic, he may well be going too fast to stop. Motorists making a right turn also need to ensure they are not pinching off a rider approaching from behind.

This is a safety message that still has not reached enough of the motoring public. Awareness on the part of each and every motorist would go a long way toward reducing both risk and tragedy.

If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.




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