Many people in Orange County enjoy the benefits of bicycling on a regular basis. Biking promotes exercise and better health, it reduces road congestion and it is also an environmentally friendly method of transportation. It is no secret, however, that biking on roads with motor vehicles does come with some safety concerns. So, how does California stack up to other states when it comes to bicycle accidents and safety?
According to a report prepared for the Governors Highway Safety Association, California is one of just six states that combine to account for 54 percent of all deadly bicycle collisions throughout the country. The data, which is for the period between 2002 and 2012, showed that California had the highest total of bicycle accident deaths, with 338. Florida was close behind, with 329 deaths during the period.
Over a longer period of time, deaths from bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles have been decreasing. But, between 2010 and 2012, the number of deaths from bicycle and auto accidents jumped 16 percent. By contrast, motor vehicle accidents not involving bicyclists rose just one percent during that time.
While the data from this report is now a few years old, it is still a reminder that injuries and deaths from bicycle accidents are a growing concern. Although California has led the way in bicycle accident deaths in the past, both bike riders and drivers in motor vehicles should strive to do better going forward. Drivers, especially, have to do their best to be careful when sharing the road with bikers.
A bicycle is no match for a motor vehicle, and bike accident victims can easily suffer severe injuries. By being aware of each other and taking proper safety precautions, bikers and drivers can cut down on motor vehicle accidents that involve bikers.
Source: Governors Highway Safety Association, "Bicyclist Safety," Dr. Allan Williams, accessed on Jan. 10, 2016