Once again, Florida has won the dubious honor as being the state with the worst bicycling fatality rate in the US. I'm sad to say Jacksonville is still the most dangerous large city for cyclists.
Not surprisingly, Jacksonville, one of Florida’s largest cities, has a higher fatality rate than Portland, Oregon, even though residents in Portland are about three times more likely to bicycle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration creates a census on fatal crashes occurring in the U.S. The latest report released by NTHTSA in May 2018 compiles and evaluates data from 2016 fatal bicycle crashes.
Here are some important conclusions for Florida cyclists and motorists:
- Florida had 138 total bicycle fatalities in 2016. This accounted for 4.3% of all traffic fatalities. The national average was only 2.2%.
- Florida had the highest bicycle fatality rate per million population of any state. South Carolina was 2nd.
- Jacksonville, with seven bicycle fatalities, had the highest bicycle fatality rate of any large city in the U.S.
- Four large cities, including Boston and Dallas, had zero bicycle fatalities.
- Nearly 4 out of 5 cyclists involved in a fatal crash were hit by the front of a motor vehicle.
- Most fatal bicycle accidents did not occur at intersections. Only 4% of fatal crashes occurred in bicycle lanes, a statistic that supports the safety of bike lanes.
- Cyclists between 60 and 64 years old had the highest fatality rate nationwide of any age group.
- The highest percentage of cycling fatalities occurred between 6 and 9 p.m. during all four seasons of the year.
- Male cyclists were overwhelmingly more likely to be victims of fatal crashes than females. This may likely be related to the higher levels of male participation in cycling.
Jacksonville will not be improving its cycling death rate in the near future. In 2018, Jacksonville has already suffered seven cycling deaths in 2018 through November 5th. Such a rate may likely result in Jacksonville experiencing the most deadly year for cyclists since 2012.