An 11-year-old South Florida boy was struck and killed while riding on his bicycle about a mile from his North Fort Myers home recently. The driver of the pickup truck that hit the boy reportedly did not see him, as the stretch of road is not illuminated and the boy’s bike was not equipped with reflectors. The boy was also reportedly riding on the wrong side of the road. He’d been working at a friend’s yard sale all day to help his parents buy his baby sister’s formula.
Fatal bicycle accidents in Florida – and across the country – are on the rise, according to the latest figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency reports that in 2015, there were 13 million total crashes – 6.3 million of those reported to the police, 1.7 million resulting in injury and 32,200 of those being fatal (with a total of 2.44 million injuries and 35,100 deaths). It was the most dramatic increase in traffic fatalities in more than a decade. A major part of it had to do with an uptick in bicycle and pedestrian accidents, which are both at the highest in 20 years.
While the overall increase in traffic fatalities was up 7.2 percent, the number of pedestrian deaths was up by 9.5 percent and bicyclist deaths had increased by 12.2 percent. Meanwhile, passenger deaths were up by 5.7 percent and large truck occupant deaths were up by 1.7 percent. Continue reading