Jacksonville Ranked 3rd in Bicyclist Deaths Per Capita
Cyclist fatalities have risen dramatically in recent years.
A recent study found that Jacksonville is one of the deadliest major cities in America for bicyclists.
As Axios reported last month, from 2017 through 2021, Jacksonville averaged 7.7 bicycle fatalities per million residents. Only two other cities in America — New Orleans and Tucson — had higher per capita rates of bicycle fatalities. By comparison, the national average is 2.7 fatalities per million residents.
Unfortunately, this is not a new development. Jacksonville regularly ranks among the most dangerous large cities in America for cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians alike. And the problem is only getting worse. The fatality rate from 2017-2021 represented a 25% increase over the previous five-year period.
Better infrastructure, such as protected bicycle lanes and improved signage, can play a significant role in turning this trend around. However, it's also critical that motorists be held accountable when their negligence causes fatal bicycle crashes.
The role of driver negligence in fatal bicycle accidents
Every road user has a responsibility to share the road, but the greater responsibility falls on people driving bigger enclosed vehicles. Unfortunately, motorists in Jacksonville often fall short of that responsibility. Some of the ways motorists cause bicycle accidents in Jacksonville, according to Jacksonville.com, include:
- Right hook collisions: it's far too common for drivers in Jacksonville to make a right turn in front of a bicycle after being stopped side by side at a stop sign or red light.
- Dooring: one of the most dangerous situations for a cyclist is when a driver or passenger opens a car door in their path. The bicyclist either hits the door itself or swerves into traffic to avoid it.
- Distracted driving: motorists who are texting, talking on their phones, or engaged in other distracted driving behaviors are much more likely to overlook smaller vehicles like bicycles.
- Street parking and lack of bicycle lanes: in areas that have heavy on-street parking, such as parts of Riverside Avenue, cyclists' only options are to ride in the traffic lane or on the sidewalk.
Other key safety hazards for cyclists include motorists failing to yield to oncoming bikes when turning left at intersections and failing to check for bicycles when pulling out of driveways and parking lots. And our roads are getting even more dangerous for cyclists thanks to the growing popularity of sport utility vehicles (SUVs). A recent study found that SUVs are far more likely than other vehicles to knock cyclists to the ground due to their higher center of gravity and point of impact.
Our attorneys stand up for injured cyclists
Ultimately, the key to preventing bicycle accidents is accountability for those who cause them. The bicycle accident lawyers at Pajcic & Pajcic have extensive experience representing injured cyclists and families who have lost loved ones in fatal bicycle crashes.
In one case, we recovered the full $1.5 million policy limits for the family of a cyclist who was killed by a drunk driver. In another, we obtained a $1.65 million settlement for a cyclist who was run over by a car leaving a drive-through window, securing $1 million more than the initial offer.
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, we would be honored to listen to your story and explain your rights and options. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.