Palm Beach Gardens has just under 60,000 residents. According to the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency (TPA), only 0.1% of the city residents commute by bicycle. Even when you include recreational cyclists, the number of people who regularly bike in Palm Beach Gardens probably amounts to less than 100 per day.
Despite its small population, bicycle accidents in Palm Beach Gardens still happen. These collisions between vehicles and bicycles usually injure a few people every year. Fortunately, bicycle accident fatalities are rare in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Palm Beach Gardens Bicycle Crash Statistics
Palm Beach Gardens has fewer than ten bicycle crashes in an average year. As a result, bike crash statistics in the city do not provide much information.
However, Palm Beach Gardens is part of the Palm Beach TPA. The TPA handles transportation planning for most of the county outside of airports and state-owned land. To get a more complete view of bicycle crash statistics, you can look at the areas under TPA jurisdiction.
Bicycle Accident Statistics for Palm Beach County, Florida
In 2020, the TPA recorded 68 bicycle accidents that caused serious injury or fatality. According to the TPA, that number represented an increase compared to the number of bike crashes in prior years.
The most dangerous time to walk or bike was at night. According to the TPA, over three-quarters of bicycle accidents in the county happened in nighttime traffic.
This number might relate to another data point. A large number of drivers involved in bicycle collisions in Palm Beach Gardens are over 65 years old.
Even with headlights, you only have about 250 to 500 feet of visibility, according to the TPA. Senior drivers experience slowed reflexes and poor eyesight that can significantly increase the risk of nighttime bike crashes.
Another source of bicycle crash statistics comes from the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard. According to this data collection, most bicycle crashes happen during the week. Tuesday and Thursday have measurably higher numbers of crashes, while the crash numbers tend to fall on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Additionally, bike crash numbers tend to lower during the hot and humid summer months between May and September. The most common months for bicycle accidents, according to the dashboard, fall between January and April and again between October and December.
Injuries and Deaths from Bicycle Crashes
Palm Beach Gardens cyclists suffer a few injuries from bicycle crashes each year. Bicycle fatalities only happen every few years in the city.
Looking again at broader statistics across the TPA’s jurisdiction, about 3.2% of bicycle crashes in 2020 caused a fatal injury, according to the Florida Crash Dashboard. Another 93.3% suffered a non-fatal injury. Only 3.5% of cyclists walked away from their crashes without injury.
Among those who suffered a non-fatal injury, 16.4% had a serious injury. These injuries incapacitate cyclists so severely that they require an ambulance to transport them from the accident scene. Examples of serious injuries include head trauma that causes unconsciousness, leg fractures, and paralysis.
The remaining 83.6% suffered a minor or suspected injury. A minor injury happens when a cyclist has a visible wound but does not require an ambulance. Minor injuries in Palm Beach Gardens, FL include abrasions, bruises, and minor lacerations.
Suspected injuries occur when the cyclist has no visible wound but complains of pain, dizziness, weakness, or other symptoms. Some common suspected injuries include muscle strains, torn ligaments, and concussions.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Palm Beach Garden, Florida
According to the TPA, four factors account for most of the region’s bicycle crashes:
- Distracted driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Teen and senior drivers
Speeding increases the likelihood that a collision will cause serious injury or death. According to the TPA, a cyclist or pedestrian hit at 40 miles per hour only has a 20% chance of survival, while one hit at 20 miles per hour has a 95% chance of survival.
Distracted driving prevents drivers from spotting and avoiding cyclists. Since cars travel much faster than bicycles, a driver could close the distance between their vehicle and a cyclist during a distraction that only lasted a fraction of a second.
Intoxicated driving causes about 10% of crashes in the TPA’s jurisdiction. This number accounts for both vehicle drivers and bicycle riders under the influence of drugs and alcohol while on the road.
The Palm Beach TPA specifically identifies the mistaken belief that marijuana does not impair drivers or cyclists as a contributing factor in bike crashes.
Senior drivers are often limited by their health conditions from driving with the same skill as younger drivers. But on the other end of the age spectrum, teen drivers often lack the experience to drive safely and maneuver carefully.
Locations of Bike Crashes
In a separate study, the TPA identified ten hotspots for pedestrian and bicycle crashes. The agency also identified ten high-risk corridors. None of these twenty locations fell within Palm Beach Gardens.
Despite falling outside of the TPA’s high-risk locations, Palm Beach Gardens still has several roads identified on the TPA’s bike map as dangerous, including:
- PGA Boulevard between FL-811/FL-A1A and Ellison Wilson Road
- Hood Road between Central Boulevard and Eastpointe Boulevard
- Prosperity Farms Road, south of PGA Boulevard
Of these, the most dangerous intersection for cyclists sits at the intersection of PGA Boulevard and Ellison Wilson Road.
Bicycle Infrastructure in Palm Beach Gardens
Palm Beach Gardens does not have much infrastructure to protect cyclists. Two greenways that only permit bicycle and pedestrian traffic run through the city: the Bluegill Trail and the Ocean to Lake Trail.
The Bluegill Trail runs north-south from Riverbend Park to Grassy Waters Preserve. As for the Ocean to Lake Trail, it runs roughly east-west across the city, connecting Hobe Sound on the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Okeechobee.
Aside from these trails, the city has very few bikeways. PGA Boulevard and US-1 have bike lanes in some locations. But these bike lanes do not run the entire length of the road, forcing cyclists to ride on the shoulder or sidewalk in places.
Biking Safely in Palm Beach Gardens, FL
You can bicycle safely in Palm Beach Gardens by avoiding some of the more dangerous routes. The TPA’s bike map shows safe routes for cyclists. By exercising caution and common sense, you can significantly reduce your risk of a crash on your next ride through Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
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