Cyclist Injured in Pinellas Park Accident
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 passing a cyclist headed in the same direction
- Bicyclist deaths represent about 2% of the nation’s total annual traffic fatalities