A report recently released by the Wall Street Journal names Florida as the most dangerous state for bicycle riders. Unfortunately this comes as no surprise, and we know far too well the number of bicyclists hit by careless drivers each year. Our state has by far the highest per-capita bicyclist death rate in the country. However, you may be surprised to hear which Florida county is the most dangerous for bicycle riders. Unfortunately it is one in which our attorneys, staff and clients live and work daily: Pinellas County.
You may be familiar with Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park, FL. While this area is filled with great restaurants, furniture stores and a movie theater, it is also noted as one of the worst streets for bike accidents resulting in both injuries and death. In fact, Pinellas County, which includes St. Pete, Clearwater, and several beaches, has the highest cycling death rate in the entire Tampa Bay metro area. Further, dozens of bike riders are injured each year here. The WSJ article cites Rob Angell, the Deputy Chief of Operations of the Pinellas Park Fire Department. He says safety improvements to Park Boulevard and other dangerous roadways can’t come soon enough.
A total of 840 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is the most since 1991. Why the rise in deaths? The Wall Street Journal article cites several reasons, including more overall traffic. This is especially true as more and more people move to Florida each year. During the winter months, we also see an increase in population with thousands northerners, affectionately known as “snowbirds,” migrate down to escape the frigid winters. Additionally, the report says alcohol, distractions such as texting, and an increase in bike-share programs throughout the United States all contribute to an increased number of auto-related bike crashes.
Florida, Texas and California account for around 40% of all bicyclist deaths, despite only holding 27% of our country’s population.
We hope you’ll never find yourself in a situation where you need us. If you do, remember The Ruth Law Team. Our attorneys help people injured in bike accidents and car crashes each and every day. In fact, we only represent injured people. For your free consultation, fill out the form on the right-hand side of this page, or call 888-783-8378 to speak to a lawyer today.