When you hear about someone riding a bike, it may bring back fond memories of riding your bike as a kid. However, riding bicycles isn’t just an activity for kids. In fact, thousands of adults across Florida and nationwide ride bicycles to commute to work or for exercise. While riding a bike can be a fun way to exercise or an economical decision to save money at the pump, it can also be dangerous.
According to a recent study by the Governors Highway Safety Association, bicycle fatalities in this nation have increased, especially among adults. In fact, the numbers show that bicycle deaths have spiked 16% from 2010 to 2012, after decreasing from 1975 to 2010. Although not surprising, the percentage of these fatalities have taken place in major cities. Because these areas are densely populated urban areas, it is likely that more people are riding to and from work plus there is more traffic as well—increasing a bicyclist’s chance of being struck by a car and killed.
What the Numbers Say About Bicycle Fatalities
Over the last several years, more and more adults are commuting to work on bicycles in densely populated urban areas. Consequently, the percentage of cycling fatalities in these areas has also increased from 50% in 1975 to 69% in 2012. Also, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, over 700 bicyclists died on U.S. roads in 2012, and 74% of these cyclists killed were male.
The report also noted that 30% of bicycle fatalities were in people with a blood alcohol content level above the legal driving limit of 0.08%. Additionally, two-thirds of people who died while riding a bicycle weren’t wearing a helmet. Unfortunately, these statistics show that many of these fatalities were preventable.
While many cyclists get killed due to negligent motorists and people who don’t know how to share the road, this report reveals that cyclists need to avoid drinking and cycling and that it is best to wear a bicycle helmet. While there are no helmet laws in Florida in place for adult bicyclists, cyclists in Florida should consider wearing helmets because our state ranks among the top states for bicycle fatalities.
If you have been injured or your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident in South Florida, you need to find out your rights to financial compensation. Contact experienced attorney David M. Benenfeld with your questions today.