Deadly Bicycle Accidents Continue to Rise Across Davie
April 1, 2020
Bicycle accidents have long been a public safety issue in Davie. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ (FLHSMV) most recent Crash Dashboard data for 2018 shows that a total of 6,590 bicycle crashes with 160 fatalities took place in Florida. A large portion of those accidents happened in Broward County, which claimed 726 of those bicycle accidents and 15 fatalities.
South Florida includes Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties, and boasts some of the best weather and beach views in the country. But year after year, deadly bicycle accidents continue to rise, making roads unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians alike.
Why Are Bicycle Accidents so Prevalent in Florida?
There are more bicycle accidents in Florida than in any other state. The national bicyclist fatality rate is around 2.3 deaths per 1 million residents. Florida’s rate more than doubles that, at 5.7 deaths per million residents. So what makes Florida, and South Florida particularly, so deadly for bicyclists? Various factors make roads in the Sunshine State a more dangerous place to cycle, including:
The weather that permits yearlong riding
Fast & wide roads
Because Florida is a top tourist destination, many drivers are here on vacation and are unfamiliar with their surroundings. When people get lost on the road, they’re more likely to make last-minute turns or decisions behind the wheel, which increases the risk that they pose to bicyclists.
What Causes Deadly Bicycle Accidents?
Alcohol use is involved in a significantly high number of bicycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration’s most recent Traffic Safety Facts, alcohol was involved in 37% of deadly bicycle accidents across the nation in 2017.
About 20% of fatal bicycle accidents involved a cyclist who had a BAC of .08 or higher compared to 16% of drivers with the same BAC level. In a ten-year comparison between 2008 and 2017, the total number of cyclists killed in bike accidents that involved a driver with a .08 BAC or higher was 618 in 2008; in 2017, the rate climbed to 715.
Another common cause for deadly bike accidents is road hazards in Davie and Broward County. The lack of bicycle lanes, sidewalks, or parking lots doesn’t give bicyclists or pedestrians a safe amount of room to maneuver. South Florida is notorious for construction and road work that goes on year-round. That combined with the number of potholes, railroad tracks, and harmful debris or gravel makes road conditions prime for a bicycle accident.
Many deadly bicycle accidents occur at night or at dusk when drivers have difficulty seeing bicyclists nearby. According to the NHTSA, the majority of fatal bicycle accidents occur between 6-9 p.m. Areas without proper lighting have proven to be dangerous for bicyclists.
How to Avoid Deadly Accidents when Cycling in Davie, Fl
The best way to avoid deadly bicycle accidents in Davie is to ride defensively. Take steps to prevent the likelihood of getting in a fatal crash. Remember, Florida law requires bicyclists to abide by the same road rules as motorists. Bicyclists should be extra cautious when riding near intersections and in heavy traffic.
The following are tips recommended by the NHTSA to avoid deadly bicycle accidents:
Never ride without wearing a helmet
Wear bright clothing that makes you more visible to others
Be sure that your bike has reflectors and lights for times with low visibility
Keep both hands on the handlebars when riding, except when signaling a turn
Carry all items strapped to the bike or in a backpack
Tie and tuck your shoelaces and pant legs, so they don’t get caught in the bike chain
Plan your route before setting out on a bike ride
Always be sure that your bike is well-equipped with good brakes. Be sure that your bike is the right size, so it’s comfortable to ride. When a bicycle is too big, it’s difficult to control. By preparing for a bike ride and following these prevention tips, the risk of getting in a deadly bicycle accident in Davie is significantly reduced.
Call Trusted Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Davie, Florida
The attorneys at the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, PA, provide strong legal support for bicycle accident victims in Davie and surrounding South Florida cities. Our bicycle accident attorneys have won substantial settlements on behalf of those who were injured while cycling in Florida.
If you or someone you love got injured in a bicycle accident in Davie, speak with one of our experienced injury attorneys about the monetary compensation that might be available to you. Don’t wait to pursue a claim. Florida Statute of Limitation laws allows a specific period of time before it’s too late to seek damages through an injury claim. The attorneys at the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, PA, want to help you get the justice and compensation that you deserve.
To schedule a free consultation, complete an online contact form, or call our office anytime.