car crash with bicycle on road

Bike Collision Accidents

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that, in 2015, more than 1,000 bicyclists died while bicycling.  2015 data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 818 of these were bicyclists killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and that this marked a roughly twelve percent increase from 2014.  Further, the NHTSA data shows that 120 of these deaths occurred in California, and that the state’s rate of bicyclist fatalities due to motor vehicle traffic crashes was the second-highest in the nation, only behind Florida.

Why Are There So Many Bike Collision Accidents?

More and more people are choosing to bike to work, meaning there are more bikes on the road.  However, the increased number of bikes on the road is not the only factor contributing to the large number of bike collision accidents involving cars.  Drivers do not always understand how to share the road with bicyclists, and cities and municipalities do not always make accommodations for bicyclists, like providing bike lanes with clearly-marked lines and maintaining roads.

Who Is More Likely to be Injured or Killed in a Bike Crash?

The NHTSA’s data shows that most bicycle crash fatalities occur in urban areas, and that most bicycle crash fatalities occur during the 3:00-5:59pm time period during weekdays, and the 6:00-8:59pm time period on weekends.  The average age of someone killed in one of these crashes is 45. 85 percent of those killed, and 80 percent of those injured, are males. Most female bicyclists who are injured in crashes with cars are those in the 20-24 years-old age group.

What Are Risk Factors for Bike Collision Accidents Involving Cars?

Unfortunately, alcohol is a common factor in many bike collision accidents involving cars.  The NHTSA’s data shows that in 37 percent of these cases, alcohol was a contributing factor, either for the car driver or a bicyclist.  Reckless driving can also be a contributing factor, and this includes behaviors like speeding and distracted driving.

Are There Laws Promoting Bicyclist Safety in California?

There are many laws promoting the safety of bicyclists in California.  One of the most important laws is the “Three Feet for Safety” law, which essentially requires drivers provide bicyclists with a three-foot buffer between their care and the bicyclist when passing.  Other laws require bicyclists to adhere to the same responsibilities as car drivers, like stopping at red lights, and to ride in the same direction as traffic.  Still other laws require bicyclists to wear a helmet if they are under the age of 18, and to ride with lights and reflectors when biking at night.

What Should You Do if You or a Loved One Is Hit While Biking?

Bike collision accidents with cars are unfortunately very common, and whether you have been injured or if a loved one as been killed as a result of one, you deserve to know what your legal options are.  The attorneys at J&Y Law bring expertise, compassion, and tenacity to every personal injury case they handle, and are experienced in bringing personal injury cases for victims of bike collision accidents with cars.  You deserve compensation for your suffering, medical bills, and other costs associated with this kind of accident. Contact J&Y Law today to learn more about your options.