Two California counties included in ranking of deadliest areas for cyclists

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Bicycle Accidents |

California has multiple highly-populated urban areas and many municipalities where bicycling is among the preferred modes of transportation. Cyclists rely on a combination of driver awareness and infrastructure to protect them against the possibility of a severe collision with a motor vehicle.

Many California municipalities now factor in cyclist safety when planning new roads or remodeling existing ones. Despite those efforts, cycling collisions remain a common occurrence, with drivers frequently causing preventable and tragic crashes that put cyclists in the hospital or worse. A recent review looking at traffic data found that two counties in California are among the most dangerous in the country for cyclists.

What did researchers uncover?

When looking at the number of reported cycling fatalities and adjusting them for the local population, some counties stood out as far riskier than others during a recent national analysis. Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identified the 20 most dangerous counties for cyclists by looking at fatality reports from the 200 most populous counties in the nation. The list of 20 counties that resulted included two California counties, one of which made the top 10.

San Joaquin County took eighth place on this ignoble list, with 37 recorded cyclist deaths reported between 2017 and 2021. Stanislaus County also made the list. With 20 fatalities, Stanislaus County holds 15th place on the list of NHTSA deadliest counties in the county for cyclists.

The good news for those in Los Angeles area is that both of those counties are quite far north. However, it is a poignant reminder that even communities where cycling is common and acceptable might face serious public safety issues related to the conduct of individual motorists in traffic.

Cycling fatalities are an important metric to consider when evaluating the safety of those on bicycles. There are generally multiple crashes that lead to injuries for every fatal crash that transpires. Cyclists who get hurt due to negligence or illegal behavior by drivers may need to look into a personal injury lawsuit in addition to an insurance claim after a cycling collision. Holding dangerous drivers responsible for making the road less safe for cyclists can compensate those affected by bad drivers.