Brian White | April 5, 2015 | Personal Injury
In terms of lasting health benefits, increasing daily energy, and improving overall happiness, cycling tops the list of cardiovascular activities. Unfortunately, not all of America’s infrastructure is prepared to handle a high volume of cyclists.
Florida is the worst offender, with 6.56 cyclist deaths per million annually. Louisiana and Oregon come in second, with 3.93 and 3.87 annually deaths, respectively. These numbers are very general, however. Living in a rural area is safer for biking than downtown Jacksonville.
With such a large number of bicycle accidents happening, America is not a safe place for cyclists. Many cities around the country lag far behind most European cities. Here are the ten most dangerous cities for cyclists in the United States.
#10. Dallas / Forth Worth, TX
Like many of the cities on this list, it is difficult to accurately pinpoint why the fatality rate is so high. Each local municipality reports fatalities differently, so the variables needed to portray accident cause are nearly impossible to discern. Some experts have theorized the sprawling nature of these two cities, as well as more road surface area, means higher chance of having accidents.
Dallas has undertaken public projects to reverse this image by establishing DFW area bike trails and dispensing safety etiquette online.
#9. Houston, TX
The city of Houston suffers from a lack of legal protections for bicyclists, which has led to a large number of hit-and-runs. In its scramble to escape the “most deadly” list, this Texas city has focused its police efforts on motorist’s danger to cyclists. This program, called “Goal Zero,” is set to keep cyclists alive by placing undercover cops on the roads to catch drivers riding too close to the curb.
#8. Phoenix, AZ
Biking on busy streets is legal in Phoenix, which means careless drivers easily endanger bike enthusiasts. However, the city is safer than its peak in 2009, when 25 cyclists were killed and more than a thousand were injured. ADOT implemented a new safety plan that installed new, wide shoulders, improved biking information on its driving test, and enhanced state taillight laws.
#7. Memphis, TN
Memphis is known for its curving highways – especially in the suburbs. It is still having problems with kids being hit at night, drivers speeding, and rubbernecking. Other problems that lead to accidents cited by officials include texting, eating, and adjusting the radio.
#6. Las Vegas, NV
Biking in Las Vegas is a huge hit due to a recent health craze, but a host of infrastructure-related problems make Vegas a dangerous city to ride. These problems include roads in dire need of repair, a lack of bike lanes, drunk tourists, and visitors who fail to understand bike laws.
#5. Riverside, CA
Riverside has seen its cyclist accident rate increase because a staggering number of people are moving closer to work, selling their vehicles, and buying bikes. This has caused a large increase in the number of cyclists. Overall, Riverside is comparatively safe if you take this growth into account.
#4. Miami, FL
Much of the money invested in Miami is in tourism, entertainment, military, and business. Infrastructure takes a major back seat to these other concerns, putting Miami at #4.
#’s 3 – 1. Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando, FL
Florida is simply the most dangerous state for bicyclists. 125 cyclists die every year in this state. Bike safety in the Sunshine State is largely overlooked, and most of the laws that do exist to protect bikers are rarely enforced.
Improving Cyclist Safety
Cities are becoming more bike friendly, but many have not made a smooth transition. Despite Texas’ efforts, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston are all still on the danger list.
Find competent legal representation from our firm, Brian White and Associates. Our Houston injury lawyers understand the bike and traffic laws unique to Texas and how that might affect you in an accident.