For years, advocates have promoted bicycling for its benefits to the health of individuals, to civic life and to the environment. They have launched "bike to school or work days," pushed city governments to create bike lanes and educated the public about safety. As a result, by most measures, the number of bicyclists has greatly increased on roads throughout the country.
A bicyclist who was trying to cross the street in Aliso Viejo, a community in Orange County, California, died after a motorist struck and killed him. According to reports, the driver attempted to leave the scene of the accident.
Those who travel by bicycle in Costa Mesa or in other parts of Orange County need to be aware that the whole country is experiencing a bit of an epidemic of fatalities related to hit-and-run accidents. For its part, our state does not fare well in terms of hit-and-run deaths, as it ranks among the states with the highest rates of hit-and-run fatalities. On average, we see about 2.0 hit-and-run fatalities per 100,000 residents. Other states have rates as low as .19 per 100,000 residents.
A previous post on this blog discussed how many victims of bicycle accidents are minor children, which is not surprising since the bicycle is one of the best ways for Costa Mesa children under 16 or so to get around independently.
The greater Los Angeles area and Southern California in general is a great place for children to ride a bicycle, especially in the summer months when school is not in session.
A 60-year-old man is the latest victim in a rash of hit-and run-accidents involving bicyclists riding in the South Los Angeles area. The man died after being hit by two vehicles in broad daylight. One vehicle did not stop, and the other was never clearly identified.
A resident of the Los Angeles area who is involved in a significant bicycle accident is rarely if ever going to come out of the affair without significant injuries, particularly if the accident involves a collision with another vehicle.
Many people in Costa Mesa and the rest of Orange County love to ride their bicycles, even in the cooler winter months. What bike riders should understand, though, is that there are many hazards one faces when riding a bike, and one of the most serious ones is the chance that another car will hit the cyclist.
Protecting bicyclists and pedestrians is an important priority in all California communities. The end of daylight saving time brings additional dangers to both bicyclists and pedestrians. The National Traffic Safety Administration notes that drivers must adjust to low-light environments with earlier sunsets and other changes that the end of daylight saving time brings.
As more and more people enjoy bicycling, bicycle riders and their families may wonder how safe they are on the roadways. While bicycling is a relatively safe activity, Costa Mesa families might not be quite as safe as they feel when they are out on a ride.