For cyclists in California, cycling is often more than just a hobby. It is a way of life. Unfortunately, this lifestyle comes with the risk of serious injury or death.
According to U.S. News, California accounts for a significant portion of the country’s fatal bike accidents, and cycling fatalities in the state recently reached a 25-year high.
If you are a cyclist in California, here is what you need to know about this troubling statistic.
What factors are driving the increase in fatalities?
The exact reasons for the rise in fatal accidents are hard to pinpoint, but many experts attribute the problem to a greater number of both bicycles and cars on the road. Cycling is growing in popularity, particularly as a cost-effective, environmentally-conscious form of commuting. Many cities are also introducing bike-share programs.
The number of vehicles on California roadways increases every year, as is the popularity of larger models. These facts, coupled with the growing problem of distracted driving, create a heightened risk of collisions for cyclists.
How can you stay safe on the streets?
As a cyclist, you can follow basic safety guidelines to reduce your risk. You should make sure you are visible to drivers on the road by wearing reflective clothing and avoiding blind spots. Protective gear, like helmets, is a must.
You should also behave predictably by obeying traffic laws, signaling your moves and riding with the flow of traffic.
Even when you ride responsibly, a collision can still happen, leading to potentially catastrophic injuries. In these cases, you may have options to receive compensation for your injuries.