Bicycle accidents can result in severe injuries for the bicyclist, particularly for incidents involving motorized vehicles. Here, we want to look at where bicycle accidents are most likely to occur in and around our area. The reality is that bicycle accidents can occur anywhere, but there are certainly some places where we are more likely to see bicycle accident injuries than others.
Data available from the California Office of Traffic Safety shows that there were more than 10,000 total bicyclist injuries and 133 bicyclist fatalities during the latest reporting year across the state. However, the state does not specifically break down where these accidents occur. For that information, we need to turn to other sources.
The Rural-Urban Divide With Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents are dangerous, regardless of where they occur. The reality is that bicyclists do not have the same level of protection that motorists do when they are sitting inside vehicles. There are no metal frames, seatbelts, airbags, or any other major safety measures in place.
As you would expect, bicycle accidents are more likely to occur in areas where there are higher populations. According to data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bicycle deaths occurred most often in urban areas (78%) compared to rural areas (22%) during the most recent reporting year on file. Urban areas are simply where there are more bicyclists roving the streets.
This is not to say that bicycle accidents that occur in rural areas are less deadly. That is not the case. Even though rural bicycle accidents happen less often, they can lead to the same devastating injuries as bicycle accidents that occur in urban areas.
Intersections Are Dangerous Areas
When it comes to specific areas of the roadway that are more dangerous for bicyclists, intersections present the most danger. Intersections are where vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists all come together, usually with everybody trying to head in a different direction. Even though most intersections are clearly labeled with lights and crossing signals, that does not necessarily mean that every person is going to obey these signals.
Bicyclists are required to follow the same traffic laws as other motorists. In turn, motorists are required to treat bicyclists as other vehicles and yield the right of way accordingly. That does not always happen. In fact, it is not uncommon for vehicle drivers to simply ignore bicyclists on the roadway. Because of the crowded nature of intersections and because of this willingness to treat bicyclists as “inferior” in many situations, intersections present incredible dangers.
Working With an Attorney After an Accident
If you or somebody you love has a sustained bicycle accident injury caused by the actions of another driver, we encourage you to reach out to an Orange County bike accident lawyer as soon as possible. Bicycle accident claims can become incredibly complicated, particularly when you end up going up against aggressive insurance carriers and at-fault drivers.
You need an advocate by your side to conduct a completely independent investigation, gather the evidence needed to prove viability, and handle all negotiations with other parties involved. Injured bicyclists in California could be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, property damage expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering losses.