In a recent column, the publisher of Bicycle Retailer recounts that when he started cycling back in the 1980s, experienced riders told him in a semi-serious way that it was just a matter of time before he “would feel the harsh grind of pavement.” Marc Sani notes that all bicyclists should wear helmets and high-visibility outerwear, but that there are far too many bicycle accidents that cannot be prevented by brightly colored shorts or a good helmet.
Sani writes that back in 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studied key factors in bicycling fatalities. “That year, motorists killed 840 cyclists,” he notes. Nearly three-quarters of the deadly crashes were in urban areas, with California ranking as the state with the most fatalities (147) and Los Angeles as the deadliest city in the nation with 20 bicycle accidents resulting in the death of the cyclist.
Slightly more than half of all the fatal accidents were in daylight hours (51 percent). The average age of the cyclists killed was 46, with a quarter of them in the 50-to-59 age group.
Men were 5.6 times more likely to be killed in crashes involving motor vehicles and bicycles, while children under 15 years old were 7 percent of all the fatalities.
Sani writes that one of the problems in bicycling safety is that there is simply little interest in the U.S. to create cycling infrastructure of the sort to be found in some European nations; places where a cycling culture has resulted in bicycle highways, roundabouts, segregated bike lanes, bike boxes, cyclist-friendly road signs and traffic signals, widened lanes and more.
Those injured in bicycle accidents caused by careless, distracted or impaired drivers can contact a Los Angeles attorney experienced in fighting for full compensation for victims in personal injury litigation.