A fast-traveling pickup truck recently hit and killed a high school-aged bicyclist, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal. After the accident, the teen was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center and was listed in critical condition, according to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). He later died from injuries sustained during the accident.
The accident happened on a road that posted a 55 mph speed limit for motorists. The road also had no shoulder or sidewalk available for bicyclists or pedestrians. It’s merely a four-lane highway that’s divided by a tree-lined grassy median.
Our bicycle accident lawyers in Royal Palm Beach and Pahokee understand that four metropolitan areas in the state of Florida were ranked as the most dangerous areas for bicyclists. We understand that our bicycle riders face so many dangers in our area because so much of the state has been constructed to accommodate the automobile and fast-moving traffic with little regard to on foot and two-wheeled travelers.
The teen bicycle accident is still being investigated. A FHP spokesman says that he was unable to confirm whether or not the teen’s bicycle was equipped with a light. In the state of Florida, law requires riders to use lights on their bicycle when riding after dark. He was also reported to not be wearing a helmet, which is a law in Florida for all riders under the age of 16.
“It’s sad that these deaths and accidents are happening right now. It’s just
all about being aware of your surroundings, letting drivers know what you’re doing. A lot
of motorists feel like we as cyclists are intruding on their territory, but state law says that
we’re entitled to the road as well,” said Christine Prokosch, president of the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club.
According to 2008 statistics, more than 17 percent of bicyclists who were killed in traffic-related accidents were killed on Florida roadways. Florida only carries about 6 percent of the country’s population, according to USA Today.
Florida has been ranked in the top three for most dangerous states in the country for bicycle and pedestrian fatalities every year since 2001.
Factors contributing to fatal bicycle accidents in Florida:
-Population growth: Florida has nearly seven times as many people now than it did in 1950. The population has increased from less than 3 million to nearly 19 million.
-Tourists: In 2010, more than 80 million people make Florida their vacation spot.
-Weather: Since Florida has beautiful weather year round, more bicyclists and pedestrians can be found traveling outside taking advantage of our climate.
-Driver behavior: Drivers oftentimes disregard the presence of these travelers. Driver awareness may be one of the most effective ways to reduce the number of these accidents.
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