Bike crashes in California more prevalent during summer months

California is one of the top states for fatal bike crashes. Thousands of people are injured or killed in the U.S. each year in bicycle collisions.

Bicycles are one of the most popular forms of alternative transportation across the country. Bikes are fast, environmentally friendly and fun, and getting places on a bicycle is also great exercise. The months of summer and early fall are also nice times to enjoy a leisurely bike ride to take in the sights of San Francisco. However, bicyclists' lives are at risk every time they take their bikes out into the city. In such a crowded area, drivers and bicyclists may not mix well.

Unfortunately, bicyclists are almost always the ones to fare the worst in a bicycle crash. Cyclists lack the same protections that occupants inside vehicles have. The size and speed of cars compared to bicycles can be deadly. This is a serious problem in California. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, fatal bicycle accidents increased 7 percent in the state in 2012. That year, 124 men, women and children lost their lives in bicycle accidents in California.

Bicycle crash facts

California ranked fifth in the nation for fatal bicycle accidents spanning 2008 through 2012, stated the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Cyclists comprised 2 percent of all crash injuries and 2 percent of all traffic deaths across the country in 2012. Up to 9 percent of bicycle crash deaths and 20 percent of injuries occurred to children under the age of 16. Alcohol was determined to be a factor in 37 percent of all fatal bicycle crashes. The months of July through September are historically the most prevalent months for people to be struck while riding a bicycle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most fatal bicycle accidents happen in crowded urban settings and at non-intersection locations. The most common types of injuries resulting from bicycle crashes include the following:

  • Traumatic head injuries
  • Broken bones, particularly to the extremities or ribs
  • Abdominal and chest injuries, including internal bleeding
  • Serious lacerations and road rash

What are some of the reasons bicycling among traffic can be so hazardous? Drivers often fail to notice people riding bikes nearby. It can be easy to turn in front of a cyclist without knowing he or she is there. Some drivers pass a bicycle too closely or overtake someone riding a bike without noticing his or her presence until it's too late. Many accidents occur at night or during dim lighting, such as in the pre-dawn or dusk hours or cloudy weather.

Collision with police car results in bicyclist's death

On June 6, a San Francisco bicyclist was involved in a fatal crash with a police cruiser, reported ABC 7 News. Authorities said that the cyclist, a man in his 20s, was riding on a trail in McLaren Park when he rode out into the street, collided with the police car and was killed. The accident reportedly occurred when it was dark outside. The circumstances surrounding the crash were still being investigated to determine whether the bicyclist or the police officer was at fault.

Bicycle crash victims or their families may consider pursuing compensation after an accident caused by a negligent or intoxicated driver. If you were injured, it can help to speak with a personal injury attorney to discuss your options.

Keywords: bike, bicycle, accident, injury