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Blue Order 04-29-09 09:59 AM

Florida #1 Again in Bicycle Fatalities
Florida #1 Again in Bicycle Fatalities

TAMPA BAY, FL (BRAIN)—A Tampa Bay coalition of retail bicycle stores called SWFBUD (South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers) is requesting governments at all levels in Florida launch a campaign to fight the bicyclist fatality rate that is number one in the country again.

Florida had 119 bicyclists killed in 2007—the most in the country, according to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Second was California with 109 bicyclist fatalities in 2007, even though California has twice the population of Florida.

The total number of bicyclists killed in the country was 698 in 2007. Florida had 28 percent of all the bicyclist fatalities in the U.S. in '07.

Florida also had 6.52 bicyclists killed per million population—about three times the national average of 2.31 in 2007.

Second and third behind Florida in bicyclist fatality rates were Louisiana at 5.12 and South Carolina at 4.54 per million.

Texas, another warm weather state with more residents than Florida, had 48 bicyclist deaths in 2007—or a bicyclist fatality rate of 2.01, less than a third of Florida, according to the federal data.

"We need governments at all levels to encourage bicycling and also to design streets and roads that are safe for both bicyclists and cars to share," said Alan Snel, director of SWFBUD, a coalition of eight retail bicycle stores and one lawyer in the Tampa Bay region committed to growing bicycling in the area.

"It's unacceptable that Florida continues to lead the nation year after year in not only the number of bicyclists killed but also the bicyclist fatality rate. Our bicyclist fatality rate is three times the national average and our governments need to do a better job at providing roads that safely accommodate bicyclists as much as they do cars."

Bicyclists accounted for 13 percent of all non-occupant traffic fatalities in 2007 and the 698 bicyclist deaths accounted for 2 percent of the 41,049 traffic fatalities nationwide during 2007.

"The fact is thousands and thousands of Floridians ride their bicycles every day and we need to do everything we can as a state to make sure their rides are not perilous," Snel said.

John E 04-29-09 12:59 PM

All I know is what I read, but this matches my perception. It would be instructive to get a breakdown regarding the causes of the incidents.

-=(8)=- 04-29-09 01:57 PM

probe1957 04-30-09 07:45 AM

It's the old people. ;)

David13 04-30-09 09:18 AM

It's not the old people. I was down there last year and it is the attitude of most of the people in that state.

SlimAgainSoon 04-30-09 03:33 PM

I wish SWFBUD luck, because it is part of the state's psychology, culture and politics that Florida ... just doesn't care.

atbman 04-30-09 03:46 PM

UK average for 9 yrs ending 2007 was 1.76 per million.

Part of the problem (I hypothesise) is the fact that the Florida driving test is a joke. Saw a British immigrant take it as part of a tv programme on relocating abroad. It consisted of a multi-choice questionnaire, which he passed, never having studied for it, and driving round a glorified car park withs ome road markings and traffic signs,none of which tests the applicants ability to drive in traffic.

The UK has the written test (introduced looong after I took mine) and 20 minutes driving in traffic with an examiner. Anything more than the most minor of misjudgements/errors and you've failed.

It would seem that in Florida, if you had access to an area replicating the test area, you could actually pass the test without ever having driven on the road.

I stand to be corrected, of course, me living 3500 miles away.

Eclectus 04-30-09 03:52 PM

I was down there on I-95, doing 80 and being passed right and left. Okay let's do 85. Not so many passes, but still some doing well over 90. One pickup hauling a 20ish foot boat on a trailer passed me.


Maybe they should invite JoeyBike to give guerilla-riding-is-safest seminars.

randya 04-30-09 03:53 PM

Florida has been an embarrasment in this way for many many years


RandyS 05-02-09 02:12 PM

Check out these anti-cyclist comments from readers in our local Tampa paper. Sad to say I have to ride amoung these drivers.

uke 05-02-09 03:01 PM

The cyclists must be bringing their deaths upon themselves by not practicing vehicular cycling!

-=(8)=- 05-02-09 05:07 PM


Originally Posted by uke (Post 8841895)
The cyclists must be bringing their deaths upon themselves by not practicing vehicular cycling!


If one had a desire to bore themselves into a stupor they
could look at all the posts Ive put up stating that it is
IMPOSSIBLE to ride VC here, consistantly. You would get beat
up or deadened eventually. Strangely enuff, someone from
Davis, Cali or Humboldt or somewhere like that will tell the 99%
of us that suffer this stuff, that we are wrong :lol:

dynodonn 05-03-09 01:15 PM


Originally Posted by Eclectus (Post 8830970)
I was down there on I-95, doing 80 and being passed right and left. Okay let's do 85. Not so many passes, but still some doing well over 90. One pickup hauling a 20ish foot boat on a trailer passed me.

Sounds like I-15 in Nevada on the way into Sin City, we had to do 80+mph so as not to be passed up again by a motorhome with a broken leaf spring perch, causing it to "crabwalk" at a 25 to 30 degree angle. Not to mention hearing my wife exclaiming "Oh my God" while looking in the rear view mirror and then being passed on both sides a split second later, by a minivan(in the fast lane) and a SUV(in the slow moving truck lane) racing each other at over 100+mph with both being filled to the rafters with luggage and kids. For one to do the posted 75mph was asking to be rear ended.

800over 05-03-09 08:20 PM

It would help if the number of actual cyclist were mentioned ie....4% of trips in florida were by bicycle.....Obviously the warmer states will have more deaths. Question is does Florida have more or fewer cyclists than Texas for example?

SlimAgainSoon 05-03-09 08:45 PM

I would think California has more cyclists, and a higher percentage of cyclists, than does the Sunshine State.

Florida, despite the warm winters, is not a bike-friendly state.

San Rensho 05-04-09 09:42 AM

We're number one! We're number one!

South Florida was also number one in aggressive driver/road rage/worst drivers for a couple of years in a row.

Anyone care to speculate if the most bicycle deaths and road rage capital have anything to do with each other?

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