Bicycle accidents are a problem in many parts of the country, and can be especially concerning in places like Orange County, where the weather is conducive to riding year-round. Also, Orange County and other parts of Orange County are urban areas, which means that automobiles and bicyclists are more likely to share some of the same roads than they would be in more remote, rural parts of California.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that 71 percent of the fatal bicycle accidents that occurred in 2014 took place in urban areas. The NHTSA data also revealed that people are relying on their bicycles more and more for daily transportation. For example, in the period between 2000 and 2012, the number of people who traveled to work on their bicycles shot up 64 percent.
Not surprisingly, when a car or truck collides with a bicycle, the rider is more likely to suffer injury than are the people in the motor vehicle. Bicyclists who are hit by automobiles can suffer severe injuries and death, and given the increasing popularity of biking, it is important for drivers to look out for bikers and do what they can to avoid causing these kinds of accidents. Likewise, riders must also do their parts to stay safe from a potentially deadly crash with a motorist.
One recommendation that the NHTSA has for bikers is that they ride defensively. This means always staying alert and focused on the road, and watching out for all forms of traffic around them. In addition, bicyclists should ride predictably by traveling in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic, and by signaling their turns. This will help give drivers ample time to react to what the bicyclist is doing so that the driver can take appropriate action.
While a bicyclist can take all the precautions in the world, he or she stands no chance against a driver in an automobile who is not paying attention. Hence, it is imperative for drivers to also be alert and focused on the road, and to not operate their vehicles while distracted. As biking becomes a more widespread form of transportation, drivers in automobiles should prepare for the likelihood of sharing the roadways with them.