Three bicyclists were hit by a vehicle on US 1 at 2:30 am last Sunday. Tragically, one of the bicyclists was killed and the other two suffered serious injuries. It has been reported that all three were wearing helmets and were riding in the bike lane when they were struck. The bicyclists were riding North on US 1, south of St. Augustine near the intersection with I-95. The vehicle driver was driving in the outside lane before striking the bicyclists. The bicyclists were involved in a bicycle adventure race.
Unfortunately, St. Johns County and St. Augustine have seen more than their fair share of serious bicycle accidents, many of them deadly. With St. Johns county being close to Jacksonville, yet more rural, many people bike on St. Johns County roadways including US 1 and A1A. While there is an extended bike path alongside State Road 207, there are not many other options for long distance road biking without traffic concerns.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps statistics on bicycle accident deaths. In 2018, there were 857 bicyclist deaths in collisions with vehicles nationwide. Thirty-seven percent of these collisions involved alcohol consumed by either the vehicle driver or the bicyclist. Fifty percent of the collisions happened at night.
Of all the states, Florida had the highest number of deaths at 151, followed by California and Texas. Taking population into consideration, Florida also had the highest number of bicyclist deaths in the country with a rate of 7.56 deaths per 1 million residents.
Clearly there is more to be done to decrease these collisions. Drivers can avoid collisions with bicyclists by: maintaining a proper lookout for bicyclists; providing three feet of clearance when passing bicyclists; avoiding distractions while driving; and obeying the rules of the road.
As bike accident attorneys in St. Augustine, we know all too well how serious the injuries are that result from a collision with a car or truck. These injuries can be prevented by bicyclists by: wearing bright clothing, preferably with reflective patches when biking at night; obeying traffic laws as if driving a vehicle; wearing a helmet; using roadways with designated bike lanes; and by using front and tail lights at night.