Riding a bicycle is a great way to help the environment, to cut down on traffic congestion and to get in shape, but it’s also potentially dangerous. Getting hit by a car could lead to you needing to file a lawsuit to claim compensation for your own personal injuries. How dangerous is it in California, though? Should you have to worry?
As a California resident, you have the right to know that the state has earned a reputation for being the most dangerous in the United States for bicyclists. Findings by the Governors Highway Safety Association showed that between 2010 and 2012, bicycle deaths had increased by 16 percent across the United States, and with 338 cyclists killed in California, California took the title for the most dangerous state.
Nationally, bicyclists have been at increased risk with each passing year. In 2010, 621 people were killed, for example, but by 2012, that number had shot up to 722. This increase was far greater than any other kind of vehicular accident; motor vehicle fatalities only went up by 1 percent over the same time frame.
California is one of six states that account for over half of all the cyclist fatalities from 2010 to 2012, with New York, Michigan, Texas, Florida and Illinois also making the list. While it’s true that more people are dying, the people who are being killed has changed. Those over the age of 20 made up 84 percent of the fatalities in 2012, while that number was just 21 percent in 1975. The data also showed that the most common gender to be killed was male at a shocking 74 percent in 2012.
Contributing factors to these deaths were drinking before riding and not wearing a helmet, so if you want to ride in one of these high-risk states, make sure to take precautions and to remain sober.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Bicycle traffic deaths soar; California leads nation,” Jerry Hirsch, accessed July 31, 2015