Another Florida bike rider was seriously injured in an accident with a car. According to Local10.com, the Weston woman was riding through a roundabout when she was hit by a vehicle around 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 22.
The woman is an Ironman Triathlon competitor
The woman was out riding with her husband. She was taken by helicopter to Broward Health Medical Center where she is in critical condition. The woman is in her 70s, an avid cyclist and an Ironman Triathlon competitor.
Officers think the driver may have been distracted
Witnesses reported stopping to help the injured woman. The driver remained on the scene and was cooperating with the police. Detectives stated they think the driver may have been distracted, but do not think she was on her cellphone when the crash occurred.
Weston resident Cristina Eggart said she loves to ride her bike with her husband, but she worries that people do not pay attention to bicyclists anymore. Eggart referenced the recent spate of bike rider fatalities in Florida.
More bicycle fatalities in Florida than the rest of the U.S.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, bicyclists are more likely to get killed in Florida than any other part of the U.S. The Orlando Sentinel states there are 6.2 deaths per 100,000 Florida residents, which makes the death rate 60 percent higher than the next closest state.
Though the number of deaths dropped in 2017, 2018 appeared to be a particularly deadly year for bike riders. In September, there were already 95 cyclist deaths, which put it on track for 130 by the end of the year.
Experts believe a variety of factors contribute to the danger for bike riders. Some include the large population of elderly drivers and tourists who are unfamiliar with roads.
Alcohol and distraction contribute to accidents
Other causes are more related to bad behavior. About 22 percent of cyclists and 12 percent of drivers involved in fatal bicycle accidents were at or above the legal limit of .08 for alcohol. Texting is also likely a problem. An analysis by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel found between 2013 and 2016, crashes caused by careless drivers increased by nearly 40 percent.
Though texting while driving is illegal in Florida, the police have a hard time enforcing this ban. They can only pull over drivers observed texting if they commit another driving violation, like a broken taillight.
A coordinator for the Florida Don’t Text and Drive Coalition stated distracted driving is “an epidemic” among all ages of the Florida population.
If you or a loved one were injured in a bicycle accident, you can hold a negligent driver responsible.