Reducing Florida Bicycle Accidents by Considering Cyclists In Road Design Standards

11 September 2013

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 September 11, 2013
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Category: Bicycle Accidents

bicycle road designMany bicycle advocates feel that considering bicyclists when designing roadways will reduce bicycle accidents in Florida. This belief is well substantiated. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Public Health examined the cause of 690 cyclists who wound up in the emergency room, leading to the following conclusions:

What difference does bicycle road design standards make?

The study revealed that roads without bike infrastructure were far more dangerous to riders than roads that provided bike lanes. In fact, when a road contained a protected bike lane, the risk of injury to bicyclists was reduced by an impressive 90 percent. When roadways contained multi-use paths that bicyclists could use but were not dedicated to their use, there was a 60 percent reduction in injury to bicyclists.

When attempting to create roadways with cyclists in mind, the following are safety aspects to consider:

  • Biking lanes must provide operating space, which eliminates the need for cyclists to shift position when vehicles are passing.
  • Biking lanes must also be wide enough to accommodate even non-standard bicycles.
  • The part of the lane closest to the curb should be kept free of road hardware.

Other design aspects to consider:

  • Eye height of the average adult cyclists: 60 inches.
  • Preferred operating size for bike lane: 60 inches.
  • Average distance cyclists ride from the curb: 32 to 40 inches.

In Florida where the weather is moderate, cycling is a major way of life. Unfortunately, Florida has more fatalities than any other state in regards to cyclists’ accidents. Therefore, cyclists’ safety is of paramount concern. Using upcoming roadway projects to advocate for the implementation of cycling lanes is a wise idea.

Why advocate for bicycling?

A public road project provides the perfect opportunity to transform dangerous roadways into bicycle-friendly streets. Attempting to make these changes are cheaper and easier to accomplish when approached during a roadway project. That is why advocating for them before a projected road project is the best way to encourage bicycle safety on roadways.

Do You Need Help From a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you or someone you love has been injured while cycling, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-753-5203 to receive a free, no obligation initial consultation and case evaluation.