These numbers might seem high for a town with just under 17,000 residents. But the rate of bicycle accidents in New Port Richey is almost the same as the bike accident rate in the entire state of Florida. Fortunately, Pasco County, home to New Port Richey, has a long-term plan to expand bike infrastructure and improve access and safety.
New Port Richey Bicycle Accident Statistics
Florida releases public data on bicycle accidents on the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard and Florida Crash Dashboard. However, on the Crash Dashboard, Florida only releases county-wide data. City-level data gets released on the Traffic Safety Dashboard, but bike accidents get grouped with pedestrian accidents.
Pasco County had 191 bicycle crashes in 2022, which tied with 2019 for the highest number of accidents in the past five years. New Port Richey had 50 accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists, but the Traffic Safety Dashboard does not identify the number for each type. This number was the highest in the 12 years reported by the dashboard.
According to the Traffic Safety Dashboard, bicycle crashes fall drastically in the summer. This makes sense since Florida’s hot, humid summer weather makes recreational bicycling difficult. Accidents begin to creep up in September and continue through the fall and winter. They peak in the spring.
The most dangerous time of day for car accidents occurs during the afternoon commute. By contrast, the most dangerous time of day for bicyclists is in the evening. Bicycle crashes in New Port Richey begin to climb around 6 p.m. and peak between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Similarly, bicycle accidents tend to occur on weekdays, according to the Traffic Safety Dashboard. Weekends in New Port Richey had no fatal or serious injury bike accidents in 2022. Instead, all the serious or fatal bike accidents happened during the week, with most crashes happening on Mondays and Thursdays.
Injuries and Deaths from Accidents
Bike crashes in Pasco County killed nine cyclists in 2022, according to the Crash Dashboard. Another 180 suffered non-fatal injuries. Since the county only had 191 total bike crashes, this means that 99% of cyclists involved in a collision suffered injury or death.
The Traffic Safety Dashboard lists two fatalities and six serious injuries in New Port Richey. But as previously mentioned, the dashboard does not separately report the number of pedestrians and cyclists injured or killed.
Those who suffered serious injuries required an ambulance to transport them from the accident scene. Examples of serious injuries include:
The Traffic Safety Dashboard does not report the number of minor or suspected injuries. A minor injury produces a visible wound but does not incapacitate the victim. Minor injuries include:
Suspected injuries cause symptoms, like pain or dizziness, without producing visible wounds. Suspected injuries can cover minor injuries like sprains as well as severe injuries like internal bleeding or brain injuries.
Causes of Crashes in New Port Richey
Bicycle crashes tend to happen when drivers look but do not see cyclists. The small size of a bicycle misleads the brain into failing to recognize it as another vehicle on the road. As a result, drivers maneuver as if the cyclist weren’t there.
According to the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard, the population most vulnerable to pedestrian and bicycle accidents consists of adults over 45 years old. But since the statistics do not separate pedestrians from cyclists, it’s impossible to know exactly how many of these accident victims were riding bicycles.
Common causes of bicycle crashes include vehicle drivers who:
- Cut off cyclists when changing lanes
- Fail to leave enough space when passing bicycles
- Fail to yield the right of way at intersections and crosswalks
- Turn across paths of oncoming cyclists on the shoulder, bike lane, or sidewalk
Another common cause of bicycle collisions comes from distracted driving. A driver whose eyes, hands, or mind are not focused on driving can easily fail to spot a cyclist. Unfortunately, because of the speed differences between cars and bikes, a car can come upon a bicycle and hit it in the span of just a few seconds.
Locations of Accidents in New Port Richey
According to the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard, the most dangerous intersections for bicyclists in New Port Richey include:
US-19 is the most dangerous road in the city for cyclists and had four of the city’s six bike accident hotspots in 2022.
New Port Richey Bicycle Infrastructure
New Port Richey has a small network of bikeways. These bikeways include a bike trail that separates motorized traffic from pedestrians and bicyclists. The bike trail runs north and south adjacent to US-19 from New Port Richey toward Pinellas County. Another bike trail runs south of Cotee River Park along the east bank of the river.
New Port Richey also has bike lanes running along segments of US-19. And just south of the city, a bike lane runs east and west along FL-54.
Overall, Pasco County has a comprehensive mobility plan that includes many bikeways. These bikeways connect Pasco County to the Coast-to-Coast trail that runs across the Florida peninsula. Unfortunately, the county has little infrastructure planned for New Port Richey.
Navigating New Port Richey Safely
New Port Richey is a bicyclist’s paradise. Its warm weather allows cyclists to ride throughout the year. But motorists often miss or ignore cyclists on the road, leading to catastrophic injuries and even deaths.
Be careful at intersections. Even when you’re in a crosswalk, make sure that the driver sees you before you cross the vehicle’s path. Better yet, try to use bikeways when traveling by bicycle. If you can ride separately from vehicle traffic, you can reduce your risk of a collision.
New Port Richey has a lot to offer bicyclists. By using some common sense and following standard bicycle safety guidelines, you can ride safely in the city.