Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation in Tampa, as the weather conditions are ideal, and the locality provides plenty of flat terrain for easy bike riding. Unfortunately, Florida bicycle accident rates are amongst the highest in the country. A bicycle accident can cause catastrophic injuries or even death. A person on a bike with no protective barrier is no match for a metal vehicle when a collision occurs.
According to a recent report from the U.S. The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida, is the top state in the country for bicycle fatalities that result from motor vehicle collisions.
Read on to learn more about recent bicycle accident cases in Tampa, Florida, and accident statistics from recent years.
Recent Tampa Bicycle Accident Cases
While there is not yet a report on any conclusive data reflecting this year’s bicycle accident statistics, there have been numerous bicycle accident fatalities in Tampa this year.
- Police shut down a part of Waters Avenue due to a deadly bicycle crash in August 2023. A man in his 40s was riding his bicycle when he veered into traffic and was struck by a pickup truck, throwing him off the bike. Police officers’ attempts to resuscitate the man’s life were unsuccessful, and he died due to crash-related injuries
- In March 2023, another deadly crash involving a cyclist caused the Tampa Police Department to shut down a portion of East Fowler Avenue. While there were no specific details released, we know that a vehicle struck and killed the cyclist. Video surveillance footage showed the mangled bike lane with debris scattered around it.
- Back in July 2023, a hit-and-run incident left a bicyclist dead on 66th Street in Pinellas Park. The bicyclist was transported to a hospital, where he was reported dead.
- Another fatality in July 2023 involved a 61-year-old male cyclist getting struck by a 27-year-old male driver on North 50th Street. The driver initially fled the scene but was later found by the Tampa Police Department and arrested.
- Last October, a bicyclist was killed after getting hit by a driver on Dale Mabry Highway.
- In 2021, a speeding Tesla driver struck and killed a cyclist head-on. The Tesla driver was driving nearly three times over the speed limit.
Tampa Bicycle Accident Trends 2023
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute’s 2023 report (with data gathered from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System), about 2% of motor vehicle collision deaths this year will be bicyclists. Child cyclist deaths have declined over the years, but bicycle deaths for age groups 20 and older have nearly quadrupled since the 1970s.
In the majority of bicycle accident deaths, the bicyclist sustained severe head injuries that often lead to death. This highlights the importance of wearing a helmet while bicycling in Tampa.
There are some vehicles that are crash avoidance technologies and may be able to detect cyclists. Such features might give the car the ability to brake prior to impact, but only if the cyclist is traveling in line with the vehicle or crossing in front of it. That said, not all smart technologies built into modern-day cars are foolproof, and accidents can still happen.
The highest rate of bicycle deaths usually occurs in the months of September and October and peaks during the hours of 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Far more bicycle fatalities occur in urban areas than rural areas, and most of them occur at non-intersections.
About 65% of bicyclist fatalities occur on major roads rather than interstates and freeways. Furthermore, 32% occur on minor roads, especially for cyclists under the age of 20.
Bicycle Accident Data From Tampa and the U.S. in 2022
Bicycle accidents and fatalities continue to rise year after year in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported 682 bicycle fatalities in 2011. In 2020, that number spiked to 938.
Last year’s preliminary data reflecting accidents from January to June 2022 indicated 79 bicycle fatalities in the state of Florida. There were a total of 3,102 total bicycle crashes reported by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
Florida has the highest fatality rate per 100,000 people regarding bicycle accident deaths. While it’s called the Sunshine State, it’s notoriously dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported 1,428 Florida bicyclist deaths from 2011 to 2020.
Another report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated a nearly 11% increase from 2020 to 2021 in overall traffic-related fatalities.
Tampa Bay Area Traffic Crash Statistics In Recent Years
Hillsborough County leads the Tampa Bay areas for fatality rates related to traffic, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents per capita in the U.S. In 2022, nearly 276 people died in Hillsborough County traffic accidents.
Here are some figures for Hillsborough County’s accident rates in 2022:
- 470 bicycle accidents
- 18,698 traffic accident-related injuries
- 276 fatal accidents
- 590 motorcycle accidents
- 656 pedestrian accidents
- 412 DUI accidents
- 7,330 hit-and-run accidents
- Over 28,000 traffic accidents
Tampa Is a Dangerous Place to Ride a Bicycle
Tampa Bay is named one of the deadliest metropolitan areas in Florida for bicycle riders, according to AAA. However, the city of Tampa has invested time and money into improving bicycle infrastructure to ensure safety for riders. Efforts to improve cyclists’ safety include education, safer street design, and stronger traffic regulation enforcement. Additionally, the city of Tampa’s goal is to reduce bicycle accidents through:
- Improvements to roadways
- Raising awareness and promoting motorist education
- Implementing stronger speed limits and management strategies
- Stronger enforcement of traffic laws
- Additional pavement and signage for lanes shared by motorists and cyclists
- Expanding trails and crosswalks
- Focusing on high-accident rate areas for pedestrians and cyclists
- Constructing more bicycle lanes
Tampa is a member of the “Vision Zero Network,” which is a detailed plan to improve bicycle safety in Florida. Since bicycle safety is a community issue, everyone must do their part to help make the roads safer for bicyclists.
What Are the Top Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Tampa?
Most bicycle accidents happen due to motorist negligence. Whether it’s a driver, motorcyclist, or pedestrian, it’s often a careless or reckless person whose negligence leads to a bicycle accident. While there are cases of cyclists getting distracted or riding irresponsibly and causing an accident, more often than not, it’s due to a negligent motorist.
Some of the most common factors that contribute to bicycle accidents are:
- Distracted driving or bicycling
- Driving too closely to a cyclists
- Driving or biking under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Inexperienced drivers
- Inexperienced cyclists
- Reckless driving
- Drivers who disregard traffic rules and signals
- Improper lane changes
- Failing to yield to a cyclist who has the right of way
- Dangerous road conditions
- Driving while tired or fatigued
Knowing what caused the accident is critical when it comes to establishing liability for your Tampa personal injury claim. Your Tampa bicycle accident attorney can help launch an in-depth investigation into your accident to get all of the facts and details and identify all liable parties.
What Happens After A Bicycle Accident in Tampa?
Bicycle riders often experience catastrophic injuries or die when they get hit by a car. The damages are not just physical but also entail mental, emotional, psychological, and financial damages. If your family member or loved one died in a bicycle fatality due to a negligent driver, we discuss the possibility of a Tampa wrongful death claim.
When a bicycle rider does survive a collision with a vehicle, they are often left with life-long damages or permanent disabilities or impairments. It can change the course of their entire lifetime, making them unable to live independently or return to work in the same capacity. They may not be able to care for themselves or provide for their families, and their quality of life can become drastically impacted. It’s not only the injured victim who is affected by a bicycle accident. Their family members will also suffer the consequences.
The upside to all of this tragedy is that a Tampa bicycle accident lawyer can help you hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries and all of your sufferings. Sometimes, it’s not a person who is liable for your injuries, but some other entity, such as a government agency responsible for keeping roads safe. If the government failed to repair a defective or unsafe roadway, they could be partially liable for contributing to your injuries.
Contact a Tampa Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If your or a loved one was injured in a Tampa bicycle accident, call our experienced Tampa personal injury lawyers today. We want to help you and will fight tirelessly to win you the compensation you deserve for all of your damages.
Call us today for a free consultation.