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DeSoto tops list of Florida's most dangerous counties for cyclists

 The city of Sanibel is seeking input in a survey on bicycling experiences in the community.
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WGCU
The city of Sanibel is seeking input in a survey on bicycling experiences in the community.

DeSoto has been named the most dangerous county in Florida for cyclists, according to a new report.

A study done by a personal injury attorney group, Injured In Florida , showed the latest NHTSA data on the volume of pedalcyclists involved in a fatal collision between 2017 and 2021 in the Sunshine State.

Across Florida, 844 cyclists were linked to fatal road collisions from 2017-2021, averaging 3.72 per 100,000 people state-wide. A total of 34 counties were higher than the state average, with some areas proving particularly dangerous for cyclists.

Approximately six cyclists were involved in a fatal collision in DeSoto County at a rate of 17.79 per 100,000 people, making it the most dangerous county in Florida for cyclists. April was the most treacherous month for cyclists in DeSoto, with three riders involved in collisions. Cycling at night proved particularly dangerous, with each incident occurring at night.

Despite being the smallest county in the state by area, Union County was the second most dangerous place for cyclists, with the number of pedalcyclists involved in fatal collisions at 12.24 per 100,000 residents. May and August were the worst months for those choosing to cycle, with each incident occurring in these months during the daytime.

Braun, Michael

Hardee County ranked as the most dangerous county in Central Florida for cyclists and third overall in the entire state. Three cyclists were involved in fatal collisions within the county at a rate of 12.19 per 100,000 people. September was the deadliest month for cyclists, with those traveling in the daytime proving to be most at risk.

Bradford County took fourth place in the study, averaging 10.62 cyclists in fatal collisions per 100,000 residents. December was the county's most dangerous time for cyclists, with two of the three total riders linked to fatal crashes during the year's final month.

Monroe County claimed fifth place, with nine cyclists linked to fatal road collisions between 2017 and 2021, at a rate of 10.62 per 100,000. Approximately seven cyclists were involved in incidents during the daytime, while the remaining two riders were linked to crashes at night.

With a population of 177,124, Bay County was the most populated county to be named in the top 10 study. A total of 14 cyclists participated in a fatal collision, averaging 7.9 riders per 100,000 people. Five cyclists were linked to incidents in August, making it the most dangerous period for those who cycle there. Of the cyclists reported being involved in fatal collisions, eight were during the daytime, while the remaining six were at night.

Franklin County, Okeechobee County, Hendry County, and Gulf County rounded out the 10 most dangerous counties for cyclists in Florida. Each county averaged the involvement of over seven cyclists in fatal road collisions per 100,000 residents.

Sarasota and Okechobee counties placed in the top 15 most dangerous counties.

A spokesperson from Injured In Florida commented on the findings: "Florida is a wonderful state for cyclists due to the hot weather and captivating environments, but it is vital for all road users to be completely aware of their surroundings, road signs, nearby vehicles, and lanes at all times."

"Of the 844 cyclists involved in fatal collisions state-wide, 448 were linked to nighttime incidents and 396 to daytime incidents. May was declared the most treacherous month for cyclists with 86 riders involved in incidents, with December coming in a close second with 85."

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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WGCU Staff