In Florida, being injured while riding a bike is far too commonplace! Cyclists continue to suffer injuries in greater numbers and higher rates. In 2010, there were 4,610 Florida cyclists who suffered non-fatal injuries when involved in motor vehicle crashes. In 2008, the total number of Florida cyclists suffering these injuries was 4,391. In Duval County in 2010, 192 cyclists were injured in motor vehicle crashes. This means Duval County (Jacksonville) experience a rate of more than 22 injured cyclists per 100,000 people.
However, Alachua, Bay, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Hillborough, Leon, Manatee, Martin, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Volusia counties had even higher rates for 2010. Monroe County, with a population of about 73,000 residents, suffered 99 cycling injury crashes. This is a rate of more than 135 injured cyclists per 100,000 people! By comparison, in Monroe County there were 66 injured cyclists in 2008, and 84 injured cyclists in 2009. While Miami seems to be making efforts to reduce its cycling injury incidence, its numbers have gone from 455 injured cyclists in 2008 to 527 in 2010.
The trend is going in the opposite direction. As a cycling advocate and cycling crash attorney, I urge cyclists to avail themselves of their legal rights. Motor vehicle operators who injure cyclists must be brought to justice and must pay fair compensation. Insurance companies should be motivated to cancel or dramatically increase the insurance rates for drivers who kill, maime or injure cyclists. Law enforcement must be educated on our laws in place to protect cyclists. Drivers of vehicles must be educated about how to safely interact with cyclists. It is only through these measures, and providing adequately safe facilities for cycling, that our injury rates can be decreased.