Quick Facts about California Bicycle Safety
As of 2014, California led the nation in bicycle accidents. With one of the largest populations of any state and hundreds of miles of bike lanes and bike trails, California’s place at the top of the bicycle accident and death list isn’t surprising – but it is a ranking that experienced southern California bicycle injury lawyers watch closely.
Just how many bicycle accidents occur in California each year – and how do they stack up to the national averages? Here are some quick facts:
- In 2011, 166 bicyclists lost their lives in California traffic accidents. In 2012, that number fell to 124 deaths, according to the Office of Traffic Safety.
- There were 682 bicycle deaths nationwide in 2011, which means that California accounted for slightly more than 24 percent of all bicycle crash deaths in the U.S. that year.
- Between 2001 and 2011, the rate of injuries to bicyclists increased 8.9 percent.
- Nationwide, bicyclist deaths and injuries in traffic crashes cost families and communities over $4 billion each year in medical bills, property damage, and lost productivity.
Bicycle accidents are one of the few traffic-related accidents that have increased from year to year over the past decade, both in California and in the country as a whole. Deaths and injuries in passenger vehicle crashes have dropped while deaths and injuries in bicycle crashes have risen, for the most part. While the roads are getting safer for motorists, they are not getting safer for bicyclists. That’s why it’s important to practice safe riding – and to talk to an experienced attorney if you or someone you love is injured by a distracted or negligent driver.