California was cited by a commentator as being one of the most dangerous places for bicyclists to be on the road. The League of American Bicyclists has been analyzing data concerning biking fatalities in America. It shouldn’t be surprising that motorists were often at fault concerning these accidents.
Most bicycle accidents occur on urban roads with a significant amount of traffic. Of the 628 fatal bicycle accidents analyzed in the report the conclusion was that only 94 could have been considered the fault of the bicyclist. Driving under the influence, hit-and-run and careless driving were frequent factors involved in the death of bicyclists. While rear-end collisions made up only a small percentage of all of these accidents, these sorts of crashes were nevertheless responsible for 40 percent of bicycle fatalities.
Sadly, less than half of fatal bicycle accidents result in enforcement action. Drivers were criminally sentenced in only 12 percent of these accidents – despite reckless driving being involved in a large number of the crashes.
Unless efforts are made to make our roads safer, we will continue seeing these sorts of numbers. As one bicycle advocate says “we will have to keep reporting a totally unacceptable and unnecessary death toll on our nation’s roadways.”
As attorneys who represent bicyclists in accidents, we recommend a number of steps to take if one finds themselves in an accident. Since these types of incidents often result in severe injury, victims of such crashes generally will require legal representation to receive compensation for their injuries.
Source: Outside, “Bicyclist Deaths, Explained,” Erin Berger, May 28, 2014