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Bicycle rider killed after being struck by car

A man was killed this week on his bicycle less than a mile from his home. His bicycle was struck from behind as he rode along the Tamiami Trail in Warm Mineral Springs. The bike accident occurred at 9 p.m. in the evening, even though he had both a headlight and taillight on the bicycle.

Sadly, he will not be the last Florida resident to die this year on a bicycle. In an average year, approximately 100 Floridians die in fatal bicycle accidents. In addition, another 4,000 suffer injuries from these bicycle accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2009, Florida led the nation in deadly bicycle traffic accidents, with 107 deaths. This surpassed even more populous states, like California and Texas.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FLDOT) is attempting to reduce the numbers of fatal bike accidents. They are working to educate bicyclists and drivers, involve law enforcement and build safer bike paths and trails.

Another related issue facing FLDOT is the number of pedestrian fatalities in the state. Florida had over 500 fatal pedestrian accidents, and like bicyclist, they are particularly vulnerable when hit by motor vehicles.

At a time when highway fatalities have plummeted to the lowest numbers since records have been kept, pedestrian accidents have actually been increasing. Education is important, as many accidents happen close to home and involve children.

During the summer when children are out of school, bicycle accidents become one of the top causes of death for children. Children should wear helmets and they should be properly fitted.

If you or a family member has been involved in a bicycle accident, an attorney can help determine if compensation may be available because of the accident.

Source: Herald-Tribune, "North Port man killed in bicycle-car crash," Shannon McFarland, February 13, 2013

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