People call Florida the Sunshine State for good reason. It enjoys a mostly tropical climate and rarely gets cold, even in the middle of winter. This makes Florida the perfect state for outdoor activities like biking. Unfortunately, the state also holds the record for the most bicycle deaths, according to one survey.
Orlando Weekly reports that since 1975, cycling-related deaths among people 20 years and older tripled in the state. In 2017, 783 cyclists died in crashes. Of that number, 16% or 125 people called Florida home.
Most common reasons for crashes and deaths
Bicycles offer very little protection compared to the larger and heavier vehicles that collide with them. Subsequently, regardless of who makes a mistake, cyclists tend to pay the price. Here are the most common actions that lead to bicycle deaths:
- 38% due to failure to yield the right of way
- 10% due to difficulty spotting cyclist at night
- 8% due to improper turns
- 8% due to failure to obey the road rules
Deaths continue to rise
ABC Action News reports that, in 2019, 142 Floridian cyclists died on the roads. This shows a continued increase from the figures reported for just two years prior. One potential reason for the increase in deaths is sheer numbers. People continue to flock to Florida for better weather and to save on taxes. As more people also move into the cities, the likelihood of collisions with motor vehicles increase.
Subsequently, many officials believe the numbers will not decrease anytime soon. If the state invested more in educating both motorists and cyclists on their rights and responsibilities on the road, the situation might improve over time.