Florida ranks #1 in fatal bicycle accidents in the U.S.

By  | 

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Millions of people travel roadways in Florida every day, which can be dangerous for motorists and bicyclists alike.

Florida man riding bicycle on a local roadway in Bay County. Florida leads the country in fatal bicycle accidents and locals share their thoughts on bicycle safety. (WJHG/WECP)

AAA officials say Florida leads the country in fatal bicycle accidents. According to its latest report, nearly 800 people died in Florida from bike accidents in 2017.

"When you mix bicyclists and pedestrians in with traffic you're gonna have a problem," said Beach Bicycle Shop Owner Everett Lukas.

AAA officials say failure to yield the right of way and poor lighting are some of the biggest causes of accidents in the state.

Lukas said many cities in Bay County and Florida, in general, are not very accommodating when it comes to a large number of riders.

"A lot of cities, a lot of people commute on their bicycles. This not being a pedestrian-orientated town, meaning there's not a lot of people walking and there's not a lot of people riding their bikes, motorists are not looking out for them," said Lukas.

Many locals say drivers in the area do not obey laws which protect cyclists. Lukas said drivers should take driving courtesy classes and officials should focus on creating roadways with separate bike paths.

"Giving cyclists a place to ride that is safe, removed from the roadway is really the right way to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe," said Lukas.

Copyright 2019 WJHG. All rights reserved.