California Claims Top Spot for Bicycle Fatalities

The state of California is known for many things: a pristine coastline boasting picturesque beaches, the Golden Gate Bridge, and of course, Hollywood. But a recent report released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association revealed something else which our state is unfortunately known for, and that is bicycle deaths.

According to the report, 338 cyclists were killed in vehicle collisions in the state of California, the highest total out of all other states. Nationally, bicyclist deaths accounted for approximately 2% of deaths involving motor vehicles. But in the state of California, this number doubled to over 4%.

Cyclist Deaths Continue to Rise

The study reviewed data from between 2010 and 2012. During this time, the report found that the number of US bicyclist deaths rose by 16%. This increase is far greater than any other motor vehicle fatality types, many of which only rose by 1% during this same time period.

Some other interesting stats from the study include:

  • Adults aged 20 and older accounted for 84% of fatalities involving bicycles in 2012
  • Adult males accounted for 74% of the bicyclists killed in 2012
  • Six states account for 54% of all cycling traffic fatalities from 2010 to 2012: California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan and Texas
  • Lack of helmet use and drug or alcohol impairment were involved in many of these fatal accidents

What to Do after a Bicycle Accident

Being involved in a bicycle accident, as the cyclist or the operator of a vehicle, can be traumatizing, but it is important that those involved in the crash try to remain as calm as possible. At Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley we recommend that everyone involved in the accident remain at the scene and wait for the police and medical assistance to arrive. Even if you do not believe that you have been injured, make sure that you are checked by professional medical personnel as some injuries may become apparent hours or even days after the incident.

Our next recommendation to those involved is to make sure that your version of events is included in the police report. Even if the police refuse to include your statement in that report, you can later request to have the report amended. If you have a smart phone, take photos of the scene and any damage to vehicles and cycles.

Write down your version of events as soon as possible while your recollection the incident is fresh. Include a list of your injuries, contact information of witnesses and drivers, and preserve all evidence (i.e. do not fix your bike, wash your clothing, replace your helmet, etc).

The next step is to contact a personal injury attorney – in Los Angeles the lawyers at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP are ready for your call. We will work tirelessly to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve for any and all damages.

Call us today at (310) 273-1230 to arrange for your free consultation.