California has the distinction of leading the nation in bicycle fatalities. While riding bicycles is a popular pastime in California, and around the U.S., accidents involving bicycles tend to be more serious and include more catastrophic injuries or death. The following are pertinent bicycle accident statistics in California.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Safety Administration indicates the following:
- The average age of a bicyclist killed by a motorist in California is 45.
- 88% of cyclist fatalities are male.
- However, bicyclists ages 20-24 have the highest statistical rate of injury in cycling accidents.
- Urban areas account for 71% of all cyclist deaths, most often at non-intersection portions of a roadway.
- Alcohol was a factor only in 35% of all cases.
- One-third of all non-fatal emergency room visits that relate to bicycle accidents involve children.
- 20% of all bicyclist fatalities occur between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m.
- California is the most dangerous state to ride a bicycle according to statistics, followed by Florida and Texas.
- 2% of all transportation-related deaths nationwide are due to bicyclist accidents.
- Over 400 riders who are killed each year were not wearing helmets.
Bicycle Accident Injury Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly half a million bicyclists went to the emergency room yearly for the treatment of injuries related to a bicycle accident. The most frequent causes of bicycle injuries are as follows:
- Hit by an automobile (29%)
- Losing balance and falling (17%)
- Losing control on a poorly maintained roadway or surface (13%)
- Inattention and other rider errors (13%)
- Crashes with others, such as objects or cyclists but not vehicles (7%)
- Crashes due to dogs (4%)
Interestingly, for states that have mandatory helmet laws, the injury rates for children under the age of 16 were 20% lower than the national average. Wearing a helmet absolutely saves lives and protects against more serious injuries.
Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries
The most common types of bicycle accident injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries and head injuries, including skull fractures, concussions, brain contusions, and hemorrhaging
- Facial and eye injuries, including facial fractures, foreign bodies in the eye, and dental fractures
- Broken bones and musculoskeletal injuries, including fractures, strains, and dislocations
- Rib fractures or lung injuries
- Abdominal and organ injuries, including pancreatic trauma, rental contusions, pelvic fractures, hernias, bowel contusions, and hepatic lacerations.
- Soft tissue or skin injuries, including bruises, scrapes, cuts, embedded debris, and “road rash”
As a bicyclist, you should always wear a helmet and ride defensively, especially when sharing the road with motor vehicles.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in a bicycle accident in California, you may have mounting medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress. If your accident was due to someone else’s negligence, you may have the right to receive compensation for your injuries, your medical bills, your loss of income, and even pain and suffering. Contact a Bay Area bicycle accident lawyer at the Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 to help you protect your rights, and help you receive the compensation you deserve.