Cycling is one of the best modes of transportation. This is especially true for those living in a city with limited parking and costly gas, tolls and insurance. Cycling also has great health benefits, such as decreased stress levels and reducing weight.
You can get a great workout in if you bike to and from work or school.
In general, biking is a fun and fit way to travel while saving the environment from air pollution. Unfortunately, like all modes of transportation, there are disadvantages, such as crashes and accidents.
Bike Crash Report
While cycling is one of the cheaper and environment-friendly modes of transportation, our bike crash report shows how some cyclists were put in danger due to sharing the road with motor vehicles. The data which details all the bicycle crashes that occurred in Florida from 2012-2016 was provided by the Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System.
In 2016 alone, the Miami-Dade county experienced over 900 cyclist crashes. While that’s an 11% decrease from 2015, many cyclists were still at risk whether they were waiting to cross the road or even going to (or coming from) school. Of the 917 crashes, 699 resulted in injuries of varying kinds.
March 2016 had the most number of crashes, which was 107. April followed closely behind with 89 accidents, and the numbers decreased until July with a sharp spike in accidents in August.
The data also revealed another significant detail about the crash reports, such as the type of impact. Though you may think the most common type of impact would be front-to-rear, it is actually angle collisions, in which two vehicles on opposite roadways collide at a point of junction. In fact, 379 of the reported crashes were caused by an angle collision. The second highest type of impact was front to rear, where 63 collisions were reported.
Furthermore, the report shows three additional factors: the light condition during the time of the crash, weather conditions and road surface conditions. Contrary to popular belief, almost 700 crashes occurred during daylight and when road surface conditions were dry.
The data also shows a shocking factor: whether the bicyclists were wearing any sort of protective gear while on the road, including a helmet, lighting, or reflective clothing (jackets, backpacks, etc.). Out of the 917 bicyclists involved in the accidents, only 107 were reported wearing helmets; 11 had proper lighting; 2 wore reflective clothing.
In addition to the absence of safety equipment, some of the bicyclists failed to obey traffic signs or signals, failed to yield to the right-of-way, were in the roadway improperly, were inattentive, or were not visible (because of dark or non-reflective clothing).
Top 5 Dangerous Intersections for Cyclists in Miami
Our bike map shows some of the most frequent areas in which bicycle crashes occur. Many of the crashes have occurred on (or very close to) the following intersections
Griffing Blvd. at NE 125th St.: 7 injured
8th St. at Ocean Dr.: 6 injured
NE 6rd St. at NE 2nd Ave.: 6 injured
NE Miami Place at 54th St.: 5 injured
Biscayne Blvd. at NE 29th St.: 4 injured
No one on the road is immune to accidents or crashes, including cyclists. Fortunately, there are several ways to protect yourself or be proactive in case something happens.
Keep in mind these tips for bike riding safely:
- Always wear a helmet, even if you’re going short distances. Protect your brain and life.
- Pay attention. Avoid listening to music, texting, or talking on the phone while riding.
- Avoid riding at night (but if you can’t, use proper lighting and wear reflective clothing so drivers can see you).
- Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
- Ride a bike that fits you.
- Follow the law and all traffic signs/signals.
- Drive for yourself and others.
- Know and plan your route. If it’s safer for you to take roads with less traffic or streets with bike lanes, take those instead.