Bicycle Accident Statistics

The last thing anyone thinks about when going out for a ride is whether they will end up being a statistic. It’s only natural to believe nothing is going to happen. Unfortunately, that’s not always in our control. Below are a few California bicycle accident statistics from the past two decades. Next time you are preparing for a bicycle ride, be sure to have all the proper gear, know your road rules, and always wear a helmet.

Another important fact among all, is that many bicycle related injuries and fatalities are caused by or involve drunk cyclists. Just as cyclists are expected to and responsible for following the rules of the road, not drinking and driving, or riding, is applicable. Even just one drink can impair the way you ride, especially at night or on busy streets. A study completed in 2012 in the Bay Area cited alcohol involvement in 37% of all bicycle-vehicle accidents.

In California, cyclists follow the same legal process as motor vehicle drivers. This means an intoxicated cyclist may be charged with a DUI / DWI offense if they are caught drunk riding. Cyclists are subject to all the same traffic laws as motor and commercial vehicles. Be smart, don’t drink and ride.

There has been a significant increase in cycling over the past decade, and the newly popularized lifestyle does not come without its fair share of casualties. Riding a bike has proven to be much more dangerous in the State of California than most other states. If you plan on cycling or currently do, be sure to put your safety first. Be sure to have an idea of what roads you are riding on, know the road laws, and always wear a helmet.

The Raw Numbers

  • In 1997, there were approximately 13,700 preventable bicycle-related head injuries and about $320 million in health costs in California.
  • California accounts for 14.5% of the nation’s bicycle riders.
  • 4,416 were killed or injured in 2014 in LA County from bicycle accidents, 1,200 in Orange County, and 645 in San Francisco County.
  • Out of Los Angeles’ 28,000 miles of street lanes, only 0.6% are designated for bikes.
  • An estimated 96% of cyclists killed in 1996 were not wearing helmets.
  • Bicyclists face a higher risk of being involved in an accident in urban environments.
  • California was one of the highest ranking states in bicyclists killed in 2012.
  • Between the years of 2010 and 2012, six states accounted for 54% of all bicyclist deaths in collisions with motor vehicles. California was the highest ranking of those six.
  • Bicyclists above 20 years old represented 84% of bicyclist fatalities in 2012, 74% of them being male.
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