Bikers, Beware: The Most Dangerous Intersections in Tampa Bay
It’s no secret that Tampa Bay isn’t exactly the safest place for bicyclists. Our area, despite its many positive aspects, frequently ends up on “worst biking city” lists. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal even named Pinellas County as the worst place in the entire nation for bicyclists. It’s hard to believe that our perfect state could be so dangerous, but statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) make it hard to call these lists “fakes news.” According to NHTSA, Florida’s bicycle fatality rate is twice the national average, and over 800 bicyclists were killed on Florida roads in 2015. Most of these fatalities come from larger, densely populated cities, including Jacksonville, Miami, and St. Petersburg and Tampa in the Tampa Bay region.
We’ve known for a while that bike riders aren’t always safe around Tampa Bay. But thanks to a recent article by the Tampa Bay Times, we now have an idea of some of the most dangerous intersections for bikes.
To get their data, the Tampa Bay Times analyzed bicycle crash statistics in the Tampa Bay area from 2011 to 2018. Through their study, they found 11 intersections that saw an overall total of 158 crashes. Of these crashes, 157 resulted in injuries, and two people were killed.
The Most Dangerous Intersections
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the most dangerous intersections for bikes in Tampa Bay are:
- State Road 52 and Little Road, Pasco County
- Skinner Boulevard and Douglas Avenue, Pinellas County
- Seminole Boulevard and West Bay Drive, Pinellas County
- 49th Street North and Ulmerton Road, Pinellas County
- 34th Street North and 5th Avenue North, Pinellas County
- 66th Street North and 54th Avenue North, Pinellas County
- 49th Street North and Park Boulevard, Pinellas County
- 34th Street North and 1st Avenue North, Pinellas County
- 34th Street North and 62nd Avenue North, Pinellas County
- W Hillsborough Avenue and North Lois Avenue, Hillsborough County
- North Nebraska Avenue and Fowler Avenue, Hillsborough County
Of these intersections, the most dangerous was Seminole Boulevard and West Bay Drive in Largo, which saw 19 accidents during the studied period. Most of these intersections have bike lanes, but also see heavy vehicle traffic, which can mean danger for bicyclists even if they stay in the designated areas. Additionally, most are also near low-income areas, where people might not have access to cars. This means that more people are forced to rely on bikes to get to work or around town.
Thankfully, bicycle safety has become a larger focus in recent years. To reduce bike accidents, the Florida Department of Transportation has taken steps like increased safety education and lighting on roads to reduce nighttime accidents, and cities have begun their own safety initiatives. St. Petersburg, for example, has plans to redesign one of their major streets to make it safer. Pinellas County is also embarking on a “Vision Zero” action plan to dramatically reduce fatalities.
Tips for Bicyclists and Drivers
It’s not just about cities and counties, though. As a bicyclist, driver, and member of the community, you can take steps to keep your own roads safer for everyone.
- Bicyclists should always wear a helmet and any other protective gear, and should wear bright and reflective colors, especially at night
- When biking, go against the flow of traffic and obey all traffic rules, like yielding to traffic and looking before turning
- Everyone, whether they’re biking or driving, should be aware and alert at all times
- As you’re driving, give bicyclists their deserved space on the roads and don’t drive aggressively around bikes
- Check before opening your car door, so that you do not hit a passing bicyclist
- No matter what, respect everyone on the roads!
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.