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Old 05-01-09, 08:38 AM   #1
kjc9640
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Florida at the top as the nation's deadliest state for riding

Received this from a group of Orlando Sentinel bike riders (The Chain Gang) this morning. Pretty depressing.... It states that these are 2007 numbers not sure if that is a typo or does it take this long to compile figures???? I also thought it ties in with the thread about stop signs and police issue tickets.

From Tampa Tribune: New rankings by federal traffic safety officials put Florida at the top as the nation's deadliest state for riding a bike, surpassing even more heavily populated California.

The study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 119 bicyclists died on Florida highways in 2007, topping California's 109 traffic deaths and New York's 51 that year.

"Because it's a warm weather southern state, chances are good that more people are riding year-round," said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, a Washington-based group that promotes cycling and cycling safety.

The Sunshine State consistently ranks at or near the top in the administration's annual study. Florida ranked second to California in 2006 after claiming the top spot the year before with 124 fatalities.

Cycling advocates say other factors add to the problem, including an abundance of cars on the road and a general lack of bike lanes and paths next to highways.

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Old 05-01-09, 08:42 AM   #2
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It has to do with attitudes more than anything else.
I cant speak for northern FL, but from Orlando on down,
Mean, nasty , bad people who enjoy doing mean, nasty bad stuff
to other people. If we werent contractually bound to this dump,
I would do the world a favor and lite it on fire on my way back
up to civilization
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Old 05-01-09, 11:24 AM   #3
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In the 11k miles or so if ridden I can't really think of any deliberate things done to me while riding. (knock on wood, guess I'm lucky?). But there have been some pretty scary things happen. I live near Palatka and the only big business in town is the Georgia Pacific paper mill. The bad thing about that is no matter what roads I ride in or out of town there are log trucks either on there way to, or from the paper mill. I've got cut off lots of times while riding through intersections, the trucks will be making a right hand turn on red and not even notice me coming through the intersection. I can only remember being yelled at one time, coming through an intersection some woman yelled "get the f..k off the road a..hole.." So now when I see that a car is going to pull out in front of me, (and they dont) I ALWAYS give them a little wave to kind of say "thanks for not cutting me off"... My thinking is maybe sometime down the road they will remember I waved, and next time they pass a cyclist on the road they give a bit more room.
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Old 05-10-09, 03:41 PM   #4
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Unfortunatly those are the most current available statistics, and yes, Florida and Tampa have consistantly ranked right up there on the top of the lists.
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Old 05-10-09, 05:21 PM   #5
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That's really not a surprise. Flordia, California, and Texas are always the top three in cycling deaths because those states are warm year round and heavily populated. Divide those deaths by that state's population to get a death rate, then see which state is really the deadliest.
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Old 05-10-09, 05:43 PM   #6
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Dan,

I hate to disagree but Florida sucks... the people in So Fla (Ft. Lauderdale) go for bikes I got hit on the airport perimeter road by an off duty shuttle bus driver, he had warrents out.....
When we can get outta here I will leave and NEVER look back!
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Old 05-10-09, 05:52 PM   #7
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loving it

i love the florida comments. down here two years, and it never gets better.

I was commuting for a few weeks, and had to stop, because i feared my life. my only option to get back and forth to work were 50 MPH roads with NO shoulder.

i live in a better neighborhood for riding now, but these statistics dont surprise me at all.

florida hates the environment, and their idea of progress is building high speed roads, no mass transit, no emission inspections, motor boats in freshwater, and 0 bike lanes.
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Old 05-10-09, 05:53 PM   #8
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Dan,

I hate to disagree but Florida sucks... the people in So Fla (Ft. Lauderdale) go for bikes I got hit on the airport perimeter road by an off duty shuttle bus driver, he had warrents out.....
When we can get outta here I will leave and NEVER look back!
There isn't enough money in the whole state of FL to make me ride in Dade or Broward county. Orange and Seminole can be very dangerous as well, but not as bad as S. FL, Lake county can be a good place to ride the back roads and I don't have a problem with that.

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Old 05-10-09, 06:19 PM   #9
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i love the florida comments. down here two years, and it never gets better.

I was commuting for a few weeks, and had to stop, because i feared my life. my only option to get back and forth to work were 50 MPH roads with NO shoulder.

i live in a better neighborhood for riding now, but these statistics dont surprise me at all.

florida hates the environment, and their idea of progress is building high speed roads, no mass transit, no emission inspections, motor boats in freshwater, and 0 bike lanes.
I cant say it all sucks, because I absolutely love the Mt. Dora area, but I guess
there has to be some good parts because FL's size is the same as New England almost.
But, Southernly is a very strange culture. Its all based on strip malls and consuming.
There are some clutural things to do, but because of distance, it usually involves, yep, you guessed it,
driving on some very krazy and violent roadage to get there. People are just things that get in your
way on the way to the mall. Survival based on tonnage. If you are small, you lose.
So what, no one cares....just dont leave a mark on my Excalade when I hit you, please
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Old 05-10-09, 06:24 PM   #10
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mt dora is a nice area, reminds me a lot of the hudson valley in NY, even the orange groves remind me of the apple orchards. Give me a mountain and a change of season and you'd be all set!
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Old 05-10-09, 06:40 PM   #11
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mt dora is a nice area, reminds me a lot of the hudson valley in NY, even the orange groves remind me of the apple orchards. Give me a mountain and a change of season and you'd be all set!
I was blown away by by it !
We went at X-mas time and standing on the pier by the lake it reminded
me of Lake Champlain in Vermont/upstate NY. The yacht club to the
right of the pier had the craziest, wildest most elaborate x-mas lite
stuff I EVER seen. I though I was going to have a seizure watching it
A very nice place !
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Old 05-10-09, 07:09 PM   #12
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mt dora is a nice area, reminds me a lot of the hudson valley in NY, even the orange groves remind me of the apple orchards. Give me a mountain and a change of season and you'd be all set!
Give me the fall and spring up north but I have shoveled enough snow in my youth to last a lifetime. Mt Dora, Clermont, Minneola, Howey In The hills are great riding locations.

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Old 05-10-09, 07:40 PM   #13
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I tried riding while on business in Ft Myers - most of it was just awful. On the other side of the equation is the panhandle, the redneck riviera. I always take my bike when I head to the beach there. Wide shoulders and/or bike lanes. Real flat, but I've never had any issues riding there.

Although I will say when I was riding there about a month ago there was a full-size pickup bed liner laying in the bike lane. I can't imagine how that flew out without the driver noticing.
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Old 05-10-09, 08:32 PM   #14
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If you think people in FL drive aggressive and crazy, then you haven't gotten out enough. Try Atlanta or LA.
Florida has awful drivers, yes, but most of that is due to age (ie too young or too old). This is retirement heaven, combine that with favorable year round riding conditions and of course loads of people get whacked.
Ride like everyone is out to get you and you'll survive. Take the road less traveled. Ride like you own the road and you'll end up a hood ornament on some little old lady from Pawtuckets towncar.
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Old 05-31-09, 08:19 PM   #15
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Don't forget the mail in driver's license renewals. I used to work on Palm Beach and there were a couple of times those rich old fogeys would hit parked cars on the side of the road. Way too old to be driving.
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Old 05-31-09, 09:03 PM   #16
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I will have to say, after spending a month in Orlando vs South Carolina; I would not disagree with this post at all. I have ridden the road bike a good bit & shocked at how close people are to you & how many people lay it on the horn; however, I have to be honest; I am shocked that there are only 119 fatalities. Not so much from road bikers; but it seems there are a ton of people on bicycles down here riding to work or the store or whereever; no helmets; going against traffic; sidewalks etc; no body looks both ways going into traffic & people just ride right in front of these cars without a care in the world. Plus it seems that there are a lot of Europeans who are working at the theme parks using bikes as their transportation (I am sure similar to home); and just don't realize what they are up against here.
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Old 06-01-09, 12:34 PM   #17
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Well remember that statistic is just the total bicycle fatalities in the state.

It is not meaningful.

For a meaningful comparison, one would need the number of fatalities per hours cycled. I don't see how anyone can come up with an estimate on hours cycled in a state. For automobiles, you can come close. All you need is a decent estimate on the fleet mpg and know the gallons of gas sold in the state. That will get you the miles driven and from that you can get fatalities per mile driven.

Even if you come up with an ordering of states on bike fatalities, what does that tell you? Here in FL, I have noticed that reading in the papers, it seems as if a majority of our bicycle fatalities occur at night. Most of the people I see riding at night look rather poor, are riding on urban streets, do not have lights, and do not seem to be horribly knowledgeable in bicycle handling. I do not think that fatalities in that kind of group applies to recreational riders riding on low volume streets on the weekend during the day.
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Old 06-01-09, 07:04 PM   #18
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For Florida, Havana is a great little place. Roadies hit State Road 12 where there's a wide bike lane. I go out that road some but mostly ride the neighborhoods and downtown as I'm a recreational rider. Check some pics from one of my rides in Havana at http://night.hypermart.net/lizroute.html. Shown in the images is Miramar, my 1980 Schwinn Suburban. Tallahassee, where I live, is not bike friendly. There are little ghost bikes around town where cyclist were killed [bikes painted white and chained to a fixture by the road]. I transport my bike to ride and am always looking for places to ride. When I started cycling again I read everything on biking I could from the library. I believe in knowing how to act on a road and be safe in traffic. Many don't and that is a problem.
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Old 06-03-09, 03:29 PM   #19
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I actually LOVE riding round tampa - there are some bike lanes and lots of 'challenges' .. smile

Like Drew55 I too commute but only 6 miles each way in north Tampa - Eurlich to Waters down Anderson - I love it but -

Death? - I simply do NOT trust the cagers - they don't look for bikers - they glide through stop signs on their cell phones -

Drew55 ? Where in tampa are you commuting ?
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Old 06-15-09, 09:05 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by inspclouseau View Post
i love the florida comments. down here two years, and it never gets better.

I was commuting for a few weeks, and had to stop, because i feared my life. my only option to get back and forth to work were 50 MPH roads with NO shoulder.

i live in a better neighborhood for riding now, but these statistics dont surprise me at all.

florida hates the environment, and their idea of progress is building high speed roads, no mass transit, no emission inspections, motor boats in freshwater, and 0 bike lanes.
What roads are you taking in Daytona that are 50MPH? Nova ,ISB or Williamson the main issue is you do not know the area well enough I think there is tons of side roads and neighborhoods to cut through which make riding in this area great. There is always a better way. The main roads are full of tourist and people to old to drive anyway!
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Old 06-22-09, 08:47 AM   #21
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What roads are you taking in Daytona that are 50MPH? Nova ,ISB or Williamson the main issue is you do not know the area well enough I think there is tons of side roads and neighborhoods to cut through which make riding in this area great. There is always a better way. The main roads are full of tourist and people to old to drive anyway!
I lived on Beville between Clyde and Williamson and had to get to bill france. My only options were Williamson or Clyde, and I had to be on Beville. Riding in was no problem, but night time scared me. even with my bright lights.
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Old 07-03-09, 01:23 PM   #22
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Tallahassee, FL. is very dangerous, though there are pockets of subdivisions where you can ride pretty safely. There is a local colorful cyclist who rides dressed just in a Speedo and sits tall in the saddle with elevated handlebars. You'd think cars would be crashing into each other looking at him, yet he's been hit several times because people are yacking on cell phones while driving or just not paying attention. He was hit by a car in Orlando when he was 17 and stayed in a coma for 11 months. When he came out of it he had brain damage and had to learn how to talk, walk, everything all over again. But he rides all day here. He has fused vertibrae in his neck, scars all over and a stiff leg from run-ins with autos. Recently local fans and a writer for our local newspaper raised money for another bicycle for him. Check out article and fan club here -http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200906250200/OPINION05/906250311 and http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=50564842339
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Old 07-06-09, 07:27 PM   #23
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I am writing a term paper on Florida laws and policies regarding bicycling. The goal of the paper is to reduce the number of cyclist killed in the state. Looking for any web sites that might show what other states are doing to reduce these numbers. Any info you can provide on this topic would be helpful as well as any ideas for policy changes in Florida that may help. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 07-06-09, 07:45 PM   #24
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Dunno... I live in South Florida (directly south-of/next-to West Palm Beach), and ride 10-20 miles most days of the week -- all of 'em on the road, in traffic; and, aside from the occasional horn-honk or teenage yell, it's been fine. I ride the bike lane where present, or take the lane when not, without incident.

From what I've seen, you're in more danger of getting hit if you're driving a car, than riding a bicycle. Of course, YMMV.
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Old 07-13-09, 11:01 AM   #25
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Yea florida is horrible for riding. It's like people don't acknowledge you are riding, they will just about run you off the road even if your in the bike lane!
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