In Florida, bicycles provide an economical and enjoyable way to get around throughout the year. However, riding a bike near Florida’s major cities can be particularly hazardous, especially for beginner-level cyclists or those who ride regularly in or near traffic. Florida has ranked consistently over the past several years as one of the top three states in the US with the most fatal bicycle accidents.
More alarming, though, was the national ranking of most of Florida’s major cities in comparison to other metropolitan areas across the U.S. According to a 2012 study completed by Transportation for America, the following ranked as the top 5 most dangerous metropolitan areas for bicyclists in the US:
1. Orlando/Kissimmee, FL
2. Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater, FL
3. Jacksonville, FL
4. Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano, FL
5. Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario, CA
In Florida’s larger cities cyclists face the threat of serious and deadly traffic accidents every day. For this reason, cyclists are strongly urged to wear a helmet at all times and to ride with extreme precaution whenever riding on or near roads open to regular motor vehicle traffic.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
The majority of serious and fatal bicycle accidents occur when a driver fails to yield to a cyclist at an intersection. Other bicycle accidents can occur on crowded side-streets, parking lot entrances/exits, or when a cyclist emerges from in between parked or stopped vehicles. According to the NHTSA, the following statistics pertain to bicycle accidents in Florida as well as accidents across the US: