The NWFL Daily News reports that there were two bicyclists who were struck in two separate accidents this past Saturday in Fort Walton Beach. What makes it more tragic…the bicyclists were crossing in a CROSSWALK. The accidents were only a few hours and less than a mile apart.
Around noon, at Hollywood Boulevard and Robinwood Drive, 61-year-old male was riding his bicycle in the marked pedestrian crosswalk when he was struck by a 2001 white Lincoln. He was flown via life flight to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola where his condition is listed as stable. An eighty one year old female of Fort Walton Beach, was driving the Lincoln. She was cited for failure to yield. Later Saturday evening around 5:30 p.m., at the entrance of Uptown Station, another bicyclist was struck. A 60 year old male of Fort Walton Beach was crossing on his bicycle when he was hit. In a silver, 2008 Infiniti, a 19-year-old entered the marked crosswalk, striking the bicyclist. The young male was cited for unlawful window tint, which was a contributing factor to the crash according to the Fort Walton Beach Police Department press release. This injured bicyclist was taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center for treatment but was later released.
Battalion Chief Gene Large with the Fort Walton Beach Fire Department said while accidents involving cyclists are far too common, it is uncommon to have two crashes occur in crosswalks.
The statistics are sobering. If you are going to be killed by a car while riding a bicycle, there’s a good chance you are male, older than 20 and living in Florida or California. That’s the finding of a report issued this past October by the Governors Highway Safety Assn., who also noted that between 2010 and 2012, U.S. bicyclist deaths increased by 16%. Florida had 329 cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles and was only being California by a couple. The report also saw the largest increases in annual cyclist traffic fatalities from 2010 to 2012. Florida’s deaths rose by 37 to 120 in 2012. Nationally, cyclist traffic deaths jumped from 621 in 2010 to 680 in 2011 and 722 in 2012. The 16% increase was far greater than other motor vehicle fatalities, which rose by just 1% during this same time period. Bicyclist deaths account for about 2% of deaths involving motor vehicles nationwide. But they account for about 5% in Florida.
A detailed breakdown of the age, gender, and location of bicycle crash victims is available from NHTSA. Some of the more noteworthy trends and numbers are:
- In 2012, the average age of bicyclists killed in crashes with motor vehicles was 43 years old, up from 32 in 1998, and 24 in 1988.
- 88 percent of those killed were male.
- 69 percent of bicyclist fatalities occurred in urban areas.
- 30 percent of bicyclist fatalities occurred between 4:00 p.m. and 7:59 p.m.
Our hearts go out to those who were injured in these accidents. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, contact the attorneys at Brannon & Brannon. For more information about bicycle accidents click.