The Florida Department of Transportation has announced that Lee County ranks among the top ten counties in Florida when it comes to bicycle and pedestrian deaths. That bad news is part of why local law enforcement officials, county and state government officials and area traffic safety experts are sharing information in their efforts to make our roadways safer, particularly for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Biking deadly

According to FDOT’s Southwest Florida Director Carmen Monroy, the concentrated effort is aimed at making motorists more aware of those who ride their bikes or walk where there are cars, and trying to find solutions to the dangers of riding and walking in Lee County.

Lee County Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass, local bicycle safety advocate Dan Moser, area police and sheriff representatives and other transportation officials recently held a joint meeting to talk about a safer future for cyclists and walkers in SW Florida. Everyone involved said they were planning on a continued relationship aimed at finding answers to motor vehicle accidents that involve bike riders and pedestrians.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publishes statistics on fatalities involving “pedalcyclists”, as they call them, separating them from those involving motorcycles. Here are some facts from their 2011 report:

  • 677 pedalcyclists died in traffic crashes in 2011 in the US
  • 69% of those deaths occurred in urban areas
  • 59% happened at non-intersection locations
  • The majority (30%) happened between 4:00 and 8:00 pm
  • 85% of fatalities were male
  • The majority of fatalities were between the ages of 45 and 54
  • 23% of pedalcyclist killed had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit of 0.08%
  • Florida had the highest percentage of pedalcyclist deaths among total traffic fatalities at 5.2%

“We currently represent several people who have suffered serious injuries as the result of being hit while riding their bicycles”, notes Scot Dale Goldberg, a Fort Myers personal injury attorney. “Obviously, because of the dynamics of a crash between a bicyclist or a pedestrian and a car, these types of accidents can be some of the most traumatic in terms of the severity of the injuries”, Goldberg said.

BikeWalk Lee is an excellent organization founded in Lee County to provide safety resources and consumer information designed to increase awareness of bicyclists and pedestrians, and encourage safety efforts amongst motorists. For more info, visit their website at www.bikewalklee.org/

If you have suffered an injury in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, the bicycle accident attorneys at Goldberg, Racila, D’Alessandro & Noone will meet with you at no cost to discuss the specifics of your case, and counsel you on receiving appropriate financial compensation for your injuries. You pay us no fees or costs unless we are successful on your behalf.

If you ride a bike or walk frequently in Lee County, please follow all traffic laws and keep a watchful eye out for dangerous drivers and traffic congestion – it may just save your life.