TAMPA (FOX 13) - The Bay Area is, in many ways, a beautiful place to bicycle. But a holiday hit-and-run underscored the danger to cyclists.
A 13-year-old boy remains in critical condition after being hit by an SUV on New Year's Eve in Ruskin. Cameron Fuller was trying to cross U.S. 41 just south of County Road 640 around 7:30 p.m. Investigators say a green Chevy SUV crashed into him. He was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital.
Sunday night in Manatee County, a man was killed while riding his bicycle. Investigators say Ronnie Allen was on the inside lane of U.S. 41 when his bike swerved into traffic, and bounced off a car moving in the same direction. A second car ran him over.
Florida is known as one of the most dangerous states for bicyclists. Last year in Hillsborough County alone, 12 bicyclists were killed.
Despite the fatalities, Tampa was just named as one of the top 50 best places to ride. Part of the reason is because the city is making great strides to make the roads safer. Over the last six years, Tampa has installed 155 miles of bike paths and lanes.
Experts say motorists and bikes have to be extra cautious. One of the best ways to protect yourself as a biker is wear a helmet. But that can be a hard sell.
Mike Mendez and his wife frequently ride their bikes, but don't wear helmets.
"Probably should, I guess," Mike Mendez told FOX 13. "We should do a lot of things and we don't."