Cycling in America is, unfortunately, not the safest amongst healthy activities. While the popularity of cycling has continued to soar, this popularity growth has occurred in spite of the fact that, generally speaking, this nation is not a safe place to ride. There are certainly exceptions to this generalizations, some cities offer a number of safety precautions that make riding bicycles on city streets stress-free activity. Nevertheless, the large majority of cities in United States are still years behind many bike-friendly cities in Europe. Florida, for instance, ranks first in terms of cycling fatalities amongst all other states. While California is a close second, the Sunshine State continues its reputation as a dangerous place for cyclists.
Let’s take a look at the most recent ranking for the most dangerous cycling cities in the U.S.:
- Orlando/Kissimmee, Florida
- Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano, Florida
- Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario, California
- Las Vegas/Paradise, Nevada
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, Arizona
- Houston/Sugar Land/Baytown, Texas
- Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington, Texas
As made clear from the above rankings, Florida dominates this list. While Florida tops the list in terms of highest fatalities and highest fatalities per capita, Florida bike laws continue to push for increased safety in the state, which is great news. The infographic here shows a great depiction of the state of cycling throughout the nation. While these numbers are important to look at, it is also of note to take them with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, these statistics have proven to be a bit shaky.
Ken McLeod is a legal specialist working with the League of America Bicyclists. Ken shed some light on the issue, stating, “Many states do not aggregate citation statistics in a manner that makes it easy to understand how laws protecting cyclists, such as three-foot laws, are being enforced”. These issues are important to recognize, as far too many motorists are completely unaware of the law as it related to cyclists. Education is the biggest source of hope for cycling safety in Florida. The more that drivers understand regarding bike laws, the safer the roadways in Florida will be.
Fortunately, cycling has many health benefits that help to offset its risks as shown in the following infographic.