Why Florida is the Deadliest State for Cyclists and What You Need to Know


It’s a startling fact that Florida is the deadliest state in the country for bicyclists. A 2019 survey revealed that the Sunshine State has the highest number of bicycle deaths and injuries, and according to the National Highway Traffic Administration, deaths among Florida cyclists aged 20 and over have tripled since 1975.

Why does Florida take the lead on cycling accidents?

It’s the contest that nobody wants to win: Florida ranks #1 in the country for cyclist deaths and accidents. In fact, right here in Pinellas County, we are rated #3 as the Florida county where you’re most likely to have an accident. 

Despite bicycle laws that are there to protect cyclists and tackle unsafe driving, and behavior and safety plans to protect cyclists, Florida accident statistics remain higher than the national average. 

So, what factors contribute to Florida bicycle accidents? 

  1. Driver error. When a driver is distracted, for example when texting, or impaired, or if one of Florida’s many visitors is unfamiliar with the roads, this can certainly lead to a collision with a cyclist. 
  2. Infrastructure. Those maintaining roadways and guardrails may fail in their responsibilities to cyclists. Florida’s infrastructure has not kept up with the growth of cyclists on the roads, and we have a high volume of traffic. In addition, there can be poor accommodation for bicycles in some areas, and poor lighting.
  3. Failure to yield. AAA officials say that failure to yield is often noted as the main cause of a collision, and this can be either the vehicle driver or the cyclist.
  4. Overtaking. When a driver overtakes a cyclist or turns into the path of a cyclist, collisions often follow.
  5. Common blindspots. Crossing the road or junction is commonplace for an accident to occur, and many accidents take place in parking lots, so pay attention to oncoming traffic when at these locations in particular. 

Staying safe

Cyclists have equal rights to the road as drivers, and a right to be safe. Solutions for safer roads include:

  1. Courtesy classes for drivers in order to make them more aware of cyclists.
  2. Creating roadways with separate bicycle paths, giving cyclists a place that’s safe and removed from the roadway.
  3. Educating cyclists on how to protect themselves, for example, the importance of wearing a helmet to protect against head injuries which could be fatal. Check out our top tips for exercising when outdoors for more safety advice while on the roads.

Getting back in gear after an accident

If you or someone you love has been involved in a cycling accident, get in touch in order to learn more about how we can help you get back on your feet. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side can make all the difference to the outcome of your claim. Kelly-Ann Jenkins and Jim Jenkins will handle the insurance companies and opposing counsel, and fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve.