The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) maintains a database of bicycle/motor vehicle crashes and was the source for the data analyzed in this report. This crash data includes only those reported crashes. Not included are crashes where there are no injuries or any damage to the motor vehicle. Also not included are crashes involving two cyclists, a pedestrian and bicyclist or single bicycle crashes; crashes in these categories tend to be less severe and are difficult to track when an accident report is not recorded. Therefore, the data obtained tends to represent the more serious injuries and is very useful when concentrating efforts to improve bicyclists safety.
The bicycle/motor vehicle crash reports accumulated in 1992, 1995, and 1998 were classified using a system developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This system identifies 44 specific types of crashes which can be grouped into seven major crash classes. In order to classify the crashes, each report was individually reviewed to determine who was at fault in the crash. Many times, the crashes involved Hit and Run, were reported some time after the crash occurred, or the officers did not record enough information to determine the cause of the crash. This corresponds to the high number of Miscellaneous or Other/Insufficient Info categories. New to the analysis was the addition of bicycle and pedestrian counts that were collected at twenty locations across Hillsborough County. Recorded was the number of subjects, time, direction, age group, gender, and whether cyclists were wearing helmets.
Among many uses, this “exposure data” has been recognized as vital to determining whether high crash locations equate to a poor roadway design feature, or if the high crashes were due to a good design that attracted a high number of non-motorized travelers. The count data will be repeated along with the crash analysis to help develop trends in the amount of non-motorized activity, the types of crashes, the ages of cyclists, and the time of day crashes are occurring in our county.