Deerfield-News.com-Deerfield Beach, Fl-We have written several posts over the years about bicycle accidents in Deerfield Beach. Anyone driving Florida roads and in particular, Deerfield Beach with our population growth and traffic congestion as well as an abundance of senior citizens knows we have issues. Unfortunately bicycle accidents, many times result in deaths when struck by vehicles. Both bike riders not obeying the laws and vehicle drivers who also disobey road rules and have road rage are to blame. Deerfield Beach residents know how our bike lanes, some of which have just been widened still seem dangerous. We have requested the number of accidents and deaths Deerfield Beach riders have suffered from BSO in a public records request. Meantime while we wait for the records we have obtained the following information.
Florida Flashpoints: Deerfield Beach drivers/cyclists relationships among the worst in the state, reveals survey.
- Poinciana has the best driver/cyclist relationships in Florida at 7.3/10.
- Riverview has the lowest relationship ranking at just 2.9/10.
- Over 1/2 of cyclists declared that they feel more unsafe using Florida roads than in other states.
- 1/2 of drivers have felt road rage towards a cyclist on the road.
- However over 2/3 of drivers in Florida empathize with cyclists.
- Infographic map showing breakdown across cities in Florida.
As has been widely reported, Florida is the most dangerous state for cyclists, with the Sunshine State accounting for almost 16% of all fatalities in the U.S. Yet, even discounting accidents, Florida appears to be a hotbed of never-ending roadwars between cyclists and drivers, often shared with the masses on the likes of YouTube or other social media sites thanks to the innovation of dash-cam and helmet cameras.
As with most situations, it is fair to say that there are two sides to the argument. While drivers accuse cyclists of running red lights, weaving through traffic and riding the wrong way down one-way streets, cyclists frequently direct their anger at drivers who use their cellphones, drive too close or open a door without checking behind them.
Delray Beach-based Gunther Volvo ran a survey of 2,800 road users in Florida to take the pulse of what their relationships are really like… and they made some surprising discoveries…
Overall, when asked how they would rank their relationship with the each other out of 10 (ten being the most harmonious, and one being the least), it was revealed that driver/cyclist relationships on Florida roads are at a lowly 4.8 out of 10.
Deerfield Beach, has among the worst relationships among drivers and cyclists in the state, at 3.7/10.
Poinciana, a town with a rural feel and often described as a family-friendly destination has the best driver/cyclist relationships in Florida at 7.3/10. In contrast, Riverview, has the lowest relationship ranking at just 2.9/10. Said to be one of the oldest settlements in the state, it is perhaps not so surprising driver/cyclist relationships are at their lowest ebb here – the town is a suburb of Tampa, statistically the most dangerous metro area in the state for two-wheeled road users.
You can see how these relationships rank across Florida with this infographic:
And when it comes to road rage, well, many road users confessed to being guilty of that – 44.7% of drivers said they’d got angry with a cyclist on the road. Of those, 47% were men, compared to 42.6% of women. On the other hand, a significantly lower proportion of cyclists (24.2%) say they have seen red on the roads, and directed their anger towards drivers.
Correlating with official statistics making Florida a deadly state for cyclists, 56% of cyclists declared that they feel more unsafe using Florida roads than in other states. To emphasize the point, the survey revealed that 59.5% of drivers never check behind them before opening their doors.
Yet, despite the occasional road rage incident, it appears that there is a general consensus for drivers and cyclists to share Florida roads in harmony. The survey revealed that over two-thirds (74%) of drivers in Florida empathize with cyclists and the frustrations that they must feel on the roads, perhaps when someone overtakes too closely, or brakes suddenly without seeming to see a cyclist in their mirror. Cyclists are in agreement with the drivers here too, with 68% stating that they empathize with the frustrations of drivers on the roads when they come across someone on their bike.
Gunther Volvo has provided some tips on how cyclists and motorists can co-exist peacefully on the roads:
- Ride on the road, in the same direction as traffic.
- Follow the same rules of the road as drivers of motor vehicles.
- Use a white headlight and red taillight when riding around sunrise, sunset, or at night.
- Ensure that the front and back brakes are working properly.
- Refrain from listening to headphones as it can make it more difficult to hear approaching cars and pedestrians.
- Stay out of drivers’ blind spots.
- Signal all turns and remember, all biking signals are done with the left hand, so keep your right hand on the handlebars for stability.
- Know the rules of the road.
- Allow at least three feet of space between your vehicle and the bicycle.
- Check mirrors and blind spots.
- Always signal when turning left or right, changing lanes, slowing down, or stopping.
- Be patient and aware of cyclists. Give cyclists the right of way when the situation calls for it; wait until it is safe to pass; provide riders with enough space to deal with road hazards; allow extra time for cyclists to go through intersections.
- When parking, prevent ‘dooring’ injuries by always looking before you open your car door to exit.
- At night, dip your headlights when approaching cyclists.
- Consider riding a bike to get a better understanding of the risks bicyclists face.
“While incidents among drivers and cyclists are frequent in our state, our survey clearly shows that there is a lot of goodwill from both sides and a common goal to make our roads safer for everyone”, says Joe Gunther, General Manager.