Lee and Collier Counties are among the most dangerous in the state for bicyclists. That’s not a good place to be, especially in a state that already ranks at the top nationally for bicycle injuries and deaths.

Bicycle and pedestrian injuries and deaths are high in Florida and Southwest Florida for many reasons. The weather allows people to ride their bicycles year-round. Many people ride bikes to work.  The roadways are packed with cars and bicycles, especially during season when snowbirds flock to sunny Southwest Florida. Not only does the increase in traffic pose a potential danger but also many of the drivers are from somewhere else and may not be as familiar with the roadways. They may be from areas where there are few bicyclists so they aren’t in the habit of watching for them.

Bicycling is also becoming a very popular outdoor activity. It’s second to running, according to the Outdoor Foundation.

A recent article on news-press.com, reported that bike injuries reached a 13-year high in Lee County last year. As of mid-May, there had been 70 injuries this year, according to the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The news-press.com coverage pointed to several recent crashes as examples of the dangers: “This week, Cape Coral police arrested Pascual Ruiz III after witnesses say he fired a semi-automatic handgun at a cyclist who had asked him to slow down, and the three motorists who had stopped to help the rider. In May, Fort Myers police arrested motorcyclist Houston Wayne Wimbish after reports he purposely rammed into a cyclist and, before fleeing, tried to punch a Good Samaritan who checked on the rider. Last month, two members of the Pelican Landing Cycling Club spent time in the hospital after being hit in a bike lane along Three Oaks Parkway in San Carlos Park.”

Take the news-press.com quiz: Do you know the rules of the road?

Other related articles:

Ironman triathlete struck, driver not cited

Cyclist credits “miracle” for survival

It is important to follow the rules of the road to keep bicyclists safe. It’s the responsibility of the bicyclists as well as those driving vehicles. Here are some tips for both to follow.

How not to get hit by cars

Bicycle safety skills and tips

10 Safety tips for motorists

At Bernardo Injury Law, we have dealt with many cases involving bicyclists. If we can help you, contact us at (239) 332-3000 or toll free at 888-428-8943, email us at gethelp@injuryinfo.org. You can learn more about pedestrian injuries on our website at injuryinfo.org and see some of our case results.