California Leads Nation in Bike Accident Injuries and Deaths
Bike Accident Injuries and Fatalities on the Rise
According to The California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) 2012 Annual Report of Fatal and Injury Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions there were 152 fatalities and 13,861 injuries associated with bike accidents in California alone. These numbers have risen every year since 2008. California leads the nation in cycling deaths, with the majority of those killed being adult males. California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan and Texas made up 54 percent of bicycling deaths from 2010-2012.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports 83 percent of bike accident deaths are persons 20 and older. No more than 17 percent of fatally injured bicyclists were wearing helmets in recent years.
No state law requires adult bicyclists to wear helmets. Young riders are required to wear helmets in only 21 states. California state law requires bicyclists 17 and younger to wear helmets.
It’s highly recommended and very important that all cyclists wear helmets. Here are some helpful tips for staying safe whether you’re a bicyclist or motorist.
Bike Safety: Tips to Avoid Bike Accident Injuries
- Make yourself aware of all traffic laws and cycling rules, these vary by state. You must abide by some of the same traffic laws as motorists, such as yielding at stop signs and red lights.
- It’s recommended you ride in the direction of traffic; it is unsafe and often illegal to ride on a sidewalk or in the direction of oncoming traffic.
- If you’re capable of traveling at the same speed of traffic, it’s often safer to ride with traffic, this way you’re visible to motorists. However, for your safety never pass on the right, it’s best to wait behind a vehicle so that you can see their signals.
- Make sure that motorists are aware of your presence: make eye contact, wear bright clothing and use reflective lights so that you’re visible.
- Ride predictably. For example, if you’re riding alongside traffic, don’t move onto the sidewalk and then reappear on the road. You want motorists to be aware of your presence.
- Be sure that your brakes are working properly and are in the best condition. Also, be mindful that weather conditions can affect your ability to brake.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Cyclists are entitled to the same rights as motorists, in every state.
- It’s important to remain patient and:
o Pass a bicyclists only when it is safe and avoid tailgating
o Give cyclists the right of way, as you would another vehicle
o Allow cyclists the necessary amount of time to cross an intersection
- Make sure not to pass cyclists until you are sure it is safe.
- Check for cyclists before making a turn and avoid attempting to speed ahead of them to turn as they may be going faster than you think.
- Make sure to check for cyclists when backing out of your driveway and be particularly mindful of children on bikes.
If you were injured while cycling a bike accident lawyer from 1-800-THE-LAW2 can help you get compensation for medical expenses, property damage and rehabilitation with no out-of-pocket cost. We’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so call now for a free consultation 1-800-THE-LAW2. Hablamos Español.