Fatal Bicycle Accidents Increase In Palm Beach County
Statistics gathered by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show a disturbing trend: bicycle fatalities have surged since the start of 2020 in Palm Beach County. Although the absolute numbers remain low, any increase in fatalities is cause for concern.
The Palm Beach Post recently published a story of a 75-year-old personal trainer who was killed while riding his bicycle in February. This story is a vivid reminder that riding a bike is more dangerous than it needs to be thanks to careless and reckless motorists. Please contact our Delray Beach personal injury attorney lawyers for more information.
Struck While Training for a Race
Neil Goldman was a Vietnam War veteran from Boynton Beach renowned for his physical fitness. Despite being 75 years of age and in need of knee replacements, he had once ridden a bike from New Jersey to Florida and was training for a 500-mile bicycle race. On February 26, 2021, he left his house to go on a daily two-hour ride. He didn’t come back.
While riding north of Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, he was struck by a 79-year-old woman driving a Lexus who swerved out of her lane for unknown reasons. After the crash, Goldman died at the scene. Police are investigating but have not brought any charges. However, they have reported that the driver was not impaired at the time of the accident.
The victim was wearing all necessary protective gear and, according to police, did nothing wrong in the moments leading up to the collision. These facts are small comfort to his family. Indeed, Mr. Goldman’s wife expressed worry whenever her husband went out to ride—and for good reason.
According to statistics, riding a bicycle or walking are two of the most dangerous activities you can undertake in Palm Beach County. Although cyclists and pedestrians comprise only 2% of all commuters, they make up 30% of all transportation-related fatalities. These statistics should not be surprising, since both cyclists and pedestrians are unprotected and can suffer fatal injuries in a direct hit. Still, one would expect motorists to keep their eyes peeled for those traveling on two wheels or two feet.
Fatal Accidents are Surging in Palm Beach County
In 2019, only 5 cyclists were killed in Palm Beach County. But that number jumped to 11 in 2020. And thus far in 2021, the number has already reached 4, and that is based on only two full months of reported data. At this pace, Palm Beach County could see over 20 bicycle fatalities in our community for 2021. These numbers also do not include the dozens of people badly hurt in a collision who nevertheless survive.
Being able to commute via bicycle is a selling point for Florida, with our excellent year-round weather. The increase in fatal accidents certainly is bad publicity for Palm Beach County and the state as a whole. We hope the government steps up and increases safety by creating more dedicated bicycle paths and other safety features.
If you were hurt in a bicycle accident, you might receive compensation for the motorist who struck you. Please contact Earnhart Law today by calling 561-265-2220. You can schedule a free consultation.