Florida’s favorable climate means you have plenty of opportunities to ride your bicycle, but new research shows you would be wise to exercise extreme care when doing so. The number of bicyclists losing their lives on the nation’s roads has risen sharply in recent years, making it increasingly risky for you to travel by bike.
According to Vice, bike deaths are up 25% across the nation since 2010, and there was a 10% jump in the number of cyclists losing their lives in incidents in 2018 alone.
Bike deaths more common in cities
Studies show that about 75% of all cyclist fatalities occur in urban areas. Some of these incidents result from poorly marked or unprotected bike lanes. Many other cyclists lose their lives in “dooring” incidents, which occur when motorists open their doors and strike bicyclists passing them, sometimes sending them into traffic.
Safety initiatives not always effective
Research also suggests that the moves some cities are making to enhance the safety of cyclists are doing little to prevent bike fatalities. Los Angeles, California, for example, enacted a “Vision Zero” plan in 2015, which sought to reduce cyclist deaths by 25% by the end of 2017. Cyclist fatalities actually increased after the plan took effect, though. In 2015, 17 cyclists lost their lives on the city’s roads, while this number rose to 21 in 2018.
Communities must do more
The communities that have a lower number of cyclist fatalities often have larger bike-riding populations. Drivers in these areas expect to encounter cyclists when driving, and they may have a better sense of how to share the road with them. Holding drivers who cause cyclist deaths accountable for their actions also has an effect on cyclist fatality rates. More information about this topic is on our webpage.