Biking has become a popular mode of transportation over the last few years. It saves riders money on gas and is better for the environment than driving a car or even taking public transit. However, a recent article in the Sun Sentinel brings out a startling fact about the safety of Broward and Palm Beach County roads when it comes to bicyclists: the number of bicycle accidents in has spiked, increasing 42 percent over the last several years. In Broward County specifically, this has resulted in a death rate that is about double what it was back in 2010. Additionally, in 2012, there were over 770 bicyclists injured in Broward County alone.
Causes in the Increase in Cycling Accidents
The exact causes of the increase in bicycle-auto accidents is unknown. However, most can agree that it is due to a combination of factors. One such factor is the increase in the amount of people biking for recreation and transportation. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the number of bikers has increased over 10 percent in the last two years. And biking is particularly popular in Fort Lauderdale, where the American League of Bicyclists listed as in the top 20 cities with the most bicyclists.
Another undeniable factor in the increase in bicycle accidents in the increase in distracted driving. It almost seems that it is a given that drivers will be either texting or on the phone at least once in a normal commute. This is extremely dangerous as it takes drivers’ attention off the road—where it should be.
To combat the urge to drive and text, Florida has recently passed a law, known as the “anti-texting while driving law,” that prohibits drivers from texting while driving. However, some advocates say that this law does not do enough, because it only considers texting while driving a secondary offense (one that requires an officer to have another, primary reason to pull the driver over). Moreover, the penalty for the ticket is only $40 for a first offense.
The bottom line is that biking in Broward County is a good mode of transportation, but you should take extra precaution when doing it. Make sure to wear a helmet and obey all traffic laws when you are out on the road. The last thing you want to do is become a statistic in next year’s data.
Have You Been Injured in a Auto-Bicycle Accident?
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident involving a car, you may be entitled to a substantial monetary award designed to compensate you for your injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering. To find out what rights you may have, you should speak to a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney immediately. Click here to contact a skilled and passionate Broward County accident attorney, or call 954-961-5100.