People living in the San Diego area, especially those who frequently ride bikes or have friends or loved ones who do, should take note of the statistics. A recent report shows that California is the worst state in the country when it comes to bicycle deaths caused by collisions with other vehicles In California, from 2010 to 2012, 338 cyclists lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents. Across the U.S., there was an increase of 16 percent of bicycle accidents from 2010 to 2012. Bicycle fatalities accounted for 4 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state of California.
While the problem may be more urgent in California, fatal bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles rose significantly across the nation as a whole, meaning that bike awareness is a problem that must be addressed at both the local and national level.
Bike riders in busy traffic areas always need to practice safe techniques, and should always wear protective equipment, including helmets. But drivers need to do their part as well, and must realize that they are sharing the road with cyclists, who are sometimes more difficult to see in rear-view mirrors and are completely defenseless in a car collision. One common type of bicycle accident is a ‘right hook,’ where an automobile makes a right-hand turn in front of a bicyclist who has the right-of-way.
Families of cyclists who are killed by a negligent, unsafe or distracted driver may want to consider talking to an personal injury attorney about their options. By holding unsafe California drivers accountable for their actions, hopefully this trend of cyclist fatalities can be mitigated in years to come.
Source: Fox 5, “California leads nation in fatal bicycle crashes with vehicles,” Oct. 27, 2014