October 10th, 2022|
While riding a bike is a healthy, eco-friendly mode of transportation, sharing the road with cars can be dangerous, especially in the urban cities of California. Since the body of a car isn’t designed to protect cyclists, they are at far higher risk of serious injury or death if they collide with a vehicle.
A bicycle accident can cause physical, emotional, and financial distress. Seeking legal representation can help you gain restitution to get back on your feet. The personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers are familiar with the nuances of California traffic law and can help you receive compensation for your injuries.
California Accident Statistics and Facts
California’s streets have a bad reputation among cyclists. Data collected by the University of California Berkeley showed 48,370 bike crashes in California between 2017 and 2021, of which 775 proved deadly. LA County alone reported 14,999 bike crashes during those four years, placing it at the top of the list.
Multiple factors make the streets of California riskier for cyclists. While the Golden State has seen successful growth of bike-share programs, many cities lack separate bike lanes, forcing cyclists to share the roads with drivers traveling at high speeds. Oversized cars with larger blind spots and increased rates of distracted driving also put cyclists at greater risk.
Bicycle Fatalities Statistics
Fatal accidents with cyclists are a nationwide problem. In 2020, nationwide research published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed:
- 22% of fatal cyclist accidents happened between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., while 18% occurred between 9 p.m. and midnight.
- 68% of cyclist fatalities occurred at non-intersections.
- Cyclists under 20 are more likely to be killed on minor roads, while cyclists over 20 are more likely to be killed on major roads.
- 57% of cyclists killed in accidents were not wearing helmets. Helmet use was indeterminable for an additional 25%.
- 18% of victims had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.
How Common Are Bike Fatalities in California?
Bike fatalities are worryingly frequent in California. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, California had the second-highest cyclist fatality numbers in the nation (after Florida) in 2020, with 129 deaths. In California, 3.4% of all road fatalities are bicyclists. In 2019, the state’s Office of Transportation Safety recorded 133 cyclist deaths.
Staying Safe While Cycling in California
A bicycle collision can have devastating impacts on everyone involved, especially the cyclist. Adhering to California’s road laws and following basic safety precautions reduces your risk of an accident and ultimately minimizes the chance of being held liable. Some important things to remember when biking in California include:
- Wear a helmet. While California law only requires anyone under 18 to wear helmets, adults are still at risk and can benefit greatly from helmet use.
- Attach lights and reflectors to your bike to ensure you’re visible to vehicles.
- Where possible, bike during the day, outside of rush hour.
- Stay in designated bike lanes if available, and plan your route ahead of time to maximize bike-lane use.
- Bike on roads with lower speed limits.
- Keep your bike maintained.
- Limit or avoid bike modifications.
- Avoid cycling under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
When Should You Get a Lawyer for a Bicycle Accident?
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a bicycle accident because of a negligent driver, hiring a lawyer can help you receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages. Consider speaking to a bicycle accident attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers immediately after a collision so we can assess your case and discuss your legal options.
If you are involved in an accident where a driver sues you for negligent behavior, such as not following California’s bike laws and causing a collision, speak with a bicycle accident lawyer to represent your interests and minimize your potential liability.
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Bicycle Accident?
No matter the circumstances of your accident, you can benefit from the legal services of an experienced attorney with Berg Injury Lawyers. Our legal team understands California’s bicycle accident laws and knows how to negotiate with insurance companies to help you reach a fair settlement.
Schedule a consultation for a free case review today with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate bicycle accident lawyers.