Riding a bike is healthy, but dangerous

Bicycles are a convenient mode of transportation and they’re good for the environment, but they can be a dangerous method of getting around when the cyclist isn’t riding safely or when pedestrians and car drivers aren’t paying attention. 

Bicycle accidents require special attention because there is always more to them than meets the eye. Several factors can play a key factor in the cause and severity of the accident, including:

  • Was the driver paying attention as the law requires?
  • If so, did the driver have time to observe and react?
  • Was there some road design defect that contributed to the cause of the accident?
  • Was there some visual obscurement to the driver’s view that should have prompted added caution?

California bicycle accident statistics in 2014

The Los Angeles Times claimed that “if you are going to be killed by a car while riding a bicycle, there’s a good chance you are male, older than 20, and living in California or Florida.” They examined findings released by the Governors Highway Association (GHSA), which reported that U.S. bicyclist deaths increased by 12% between 2010 and 2012.

The GHSA also found a number of other statistics related to bicycle accidents. The numbers for California are particularly staggering:

  • 338 cyclists were killed in collisions with motor vehicles
  • Cyclist fatalities in California rose from 23 in 2010 to 123 in 2012
  • In 2012, California had the most bicyclists killed of any state
  • Bicyclist fatalities in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan, and Texas accounted for 54% of all U.S. bicyclist fatalities from 2012 to 2012
  • Adults aged 20 and older represented 84% of all bicyclist fatalities in 2012
  • 74% of all bicyclist fatalities were adult males

The article concluded that cycle paths provide the safest space for bicyclists. Cities that do not have many cycle paths should consider building more bike lanes, using bike boxes, and building separate traffic signals for bicycles and motor vehicles.

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Bicycle safety and precautions

One of the most important safety precautions for anyone riding a bike is to wear a helmet. Helmets reduce the risk of head and brain injuries and can prevent an accident from resulting in a fatality. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other bicycle safety tips include:

  • Wearing fluorescent clothing during the day. You may think this tip applies only to nighttime riding, but flourescent clothing can make bicyclists more visible during the day as well.
  • Wearing retro-reflective clothing at night. This clothing makes bicyclists more visible at night.
  • Using active lighting. Active lighting can come in the form of front white lights, rear red lights, and other lighting on the bicycle or bicyclist.

Visibility is a key factor in minimizing bicycle accidents. Riders of all ages can benefit from wearing fluorescent or retro-reflective clothing, using active lighting, and, of course, wearing a helmet.

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Hire a La Habra, California bicycle accident attorney

If you’ve been in a bicycle accident, you need a friendly and experienced lawyer on your side. The attorneys at Holland & Holland in La Habra, California can educate and guide you throughout your case, helping you achieve the best outcome possible. Contact us today for a consultation.