Stats say that Florida has the most cycling fatalities in the union; and nine cyclists have died in Tampa since midsummer. Of course, Florida is one of the largest populations in the US, and it generally has good weather all year round, so there are more cyclists on those roads at any given time. Beyond that, my personal theories hinge on the fact that the roads for most of the state suck, Florida being a prime example of sprawling suburban areas with both poor mass transit and often non-existant bicycle access. Would better cycling infrastructure help? Yes.
Florida is also a melting pot for people from different regions of the country or other countries. I’m not saying that those people are necessarily bad drivers, but different driving styles and expectations of driving behaviors from others can lead to distractions and reduced safety margins. The situation brews accidents, but that’s Florida.
Finally, I don’t mean to be discriminatory, but I personally believe that senior citizens should be required to take periodic driving skills tests after a certain point (like every five years after 70). Maybe I’d be more sensitive to the rights of the older population if I didn’t know people who were killed by a senior citizen who was “checking his oil gauge”. Juries and judges don’t want to send Uncle Howard to jail for involuntary manslaughter, but those cyclists are still very dead. However, the idea of skills tests for seniors is politically inviable.…
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