Why Does California Lead the Nation in Fatal Bike Accidents?
There are many lists we are proud to be at the top of but leading the number of fatal bike accidents is not one of them. At Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas we have been keeping a close eye on statistics and are not happy to report that California is one of the most dangerous states in the country for bike riders. Keep reading to get an idea of why this may be the case, and then contact us at 909-982-0707 if you have lost a loved one in a bike accident.
The Facts of the Matter
A study by the Governors Highway Safety Association named our state as one of the most dangerous in the country for bicyclists and found that we lead the country in fatal bike accidents. In the two year period they studied, they found that there were 338 bike deaths due to collisions with cars and other motor vehicles. To put it into perspective, consider that California and the other four leading states made up more than 50% of all fatal bike accidents in the country.
In fact, some states had fewer than five deaths in those two years. While part of the issue is that California is larger, the truth is that in one of the years in the two-year study, California had the second highest number of bike accidents per resident. Only Massachusetts was more dangerous for bike riders.
That said, it is important to keep in mind that there are more bike riders in California than in most other states. Bike riding has gone up all across the country, but in many areas bike riders can only be on the roads during six months of the year due to weather issues. In the time period the study looked at, fatal bike accidents across the country went up by more than 15%.
The Reasons for Increasing Bike Accidents
Many are wondering why the number of bike deaths are rising. Certainly the increase in popularity of riding is partially to blame. Many areas across the country have taken steps to protect the increase in riders, such as installing bike lanes.
While many assume that it is the motorists that are to blame, the study referenced above found that the two main causes of bike accidents becoming fatal involve a bike rider not wearing a helmet and riders biking while intoxicated. In fact, about 65% of all fatal bike accidents involved a rider who did not have a helmet on. More than 25% of fatal bike accidents involved a bike rider who was intoxicated.
If you have been injured in a bike accident, or have lost a loved one in a fatal bike accident, then you deserve to know what your legal options are. Contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 now to request a free consultation.