On New Year’s Eve, a local man riding a bicycle was seriously injured
after being struck by an automobile on Park Boulevard. The accident occurred
in the evening hours just after dusk, according to Pinellas Park Police.
The accident report revealed the cyclist had entered an eastbound traffic
lane against the flow of traffic. The sun had already set and the man
was riding the bike in traffic without lights or any other safety equipment.
Florida state law requires that cyclists use, at minimum, a red light
on the rear of a bicycle if riding after dark.
The cyclist was struck by an oncoming vehicle near the 6000 block of Park
Boulevard just before 7pm. Police noted they believed the cyclist was
under the influence of alcohol. The cyclist suffered serious, life-threatening
injuries and was taken to an area hospital. The names of the bicyclist
and the driver were not released by police.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
In Pinellas Park and the greater Tampa Bay region, the average number of serious
bicycle accidents equates to at least one accident per week each year. Other stats include:
- 48,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic accidents in 2011 (down from
52,000 in 2010)
- 677 bicyclists died on US roads in 2011
- 85% of head injuries in bicycle accidents can be prevented by wearing a helmet
- About 75% of all bicyclists who die in accidents each year die from traumatic
brain injuries (TBI)
- At least 33% of bicycle accidents in Florida involve a car pasing a cyclist
headed in the same direction
- Bicyclist deaths represent about 2% of the nation’s total annual