Monday, October 01, 2018

Cyclist death rate highest in Florida

“The Most Dangerous Place to Bicycle in America. Pinellas County, Fla., has the highest cyclist death rate in the Tampa Bay metro area—which has the highest rate of any metro region in the U.S. “ according to the Wall Street Journal.

It’s the word “rate” that bothers me.  The rest of the article seems to use numbers and percentages.  We have more people, more vehicles and more cyclists than in previous years. However, for Florida, it has both the highest rate per capita and the highest number. The lowest rates are all in states that have considerable snow and weather not conducive to biking.

“…The number of cyclists killed in motor-vehicle crashes nationwide hit 840 in 2016—the most recent data available—according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That was the most since 1991 and a 35% jump from 2010. A range of likely reasons explains the rise in deaths, including more overall vehicular traffic and driver distractions, according to people who track transportation trends. Texting by drivers remains a big problem, said Deborah Hersman, chief executive of the nonprofit National Safety Council.

“Almost every state in the country has a texting ban, but we still find drivers are texting behind the wheel,” she said. Alcohol is a factor. In 2015, 22% of fatally injured cyclists, and 12% of drivers in these crashes, had a blood-alcohol content level of at least 0.08, the legal limit for motorists in most states, according to the nonprofit Governors Highway Safety Association.  While cyclist death rates have risen in many states since 2010, the three with the most fatalities since then—Florida, California and Texas—account for about 40% of all cyclist deaths, according to NHTSA, despite having 27% of the nation’s population…”

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