The number of fatal bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles is on the rise, and the state of Florida is just second behind California with the highest number of deaths.
According to a report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, the number of U.S. bicyclists killed in accidents involving motor vehicles rose by 16 percent between 2010 and 2012.
During that same period, California had 338 cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles, and Florida had 329.
Florida and California also had the largest increases in annual cyclist traffic fatalities from 2010 to 2012. Florida’s deaths rose by 37 to 120 in 2012 and California’s cyclist deaths rose by 23 to 123. California had the most bicyclists killed of any state in 2012.
The GHSA report also found the following:
- 722 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2012 across the nation. This number is up 6 percent from 680 fatalities the previous year. That number is also a 16 percent jump from the 621 bicyclists killed in 2010.
- More than two-thirds of bikers killed were not wearing helmets. Despite the fact that many states have laws requiring minors to wear helmets while riding bikes, wearing a helmet is generally not a state or federal requirement for adults.
- More than one-fourth of bicyclists killed in accidents were impaired. According to the report, 28 percent of bicyclists killed in motor vehicle accidents had blood alcohol concentrations over the legal limit of .08.
- Findings show that nearly 9 in 10 bicycle fatality victims are adult males. In 2012, men made up 88 percent of those killed in bicycle traffic collisions.
- Bike accidents are increasing in urban areas. According to the report, 69 percent percent of fatal bike accidents happened in urban areas in 2012, compared to only 50 percent in 1975.
If injured, it is important for Tampa Bay area cyclists to understand their legal rights and seek medical attention immediately. Fortunately for injured bicyclists, the city of Tampa and the surrounding areas, as well the state of Florida, have passed favorable laws that hold negligent, careless and reckless drivers accountable for bicycle accidents.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident, a Tampa Bay Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you understand all of your legal options. Please call us today at 813-221-3200 or toll-free at 866-608-5529 for a free consultation.