Are Bicycle Accidents a Growing Problem for California Cyclists?

Police in Santa Monica have launched an operation focused on preventing collisions between pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles. According to the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD), the operation will map out several areas where bicycle accidents have occurred over the last five years and what kinds of violations caused accidents. Over 870 bicycle accidents have been investigated by the SMPD in the last three years.

Police will be looking for drivers who are speeding, making illegal turns, running through stop signs and committing other moving violations. California leads the nation in pedestrian and bicycle accident deaths, which is a reason why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given SMPD funds for this operation.

Efforts by the SMPD raise an interesting question – how safe are bicyclists in California? In 2013, San Luis Obispo reported that despite its small population, the city had more bicycle accidents than cities twice its size.

San Francisco recently reported that it is one of the few California cities where fatal bicycle accidents are increasing. Due to California having more bicycle accidents than any other state in the country, new legislation and initiatives from public safety officials are playing a part in protecting cyclists.

Can New Laws Protect Cyclists from Bicycle Accidents?

California lawmakers have come up with several ideas that specifically target the main causes of both fatal and non-fatal bicycle accidents. We have written about several of them here on our blog. California’s “three-foot-law” is one of several proposals, and it would require motorists to keep a distance of three feet from cyclists.

Lawmakers have recently discussed the idea of requiring helmets for cyclists of all ages. Cities such as San Diego are building more cycling infrastructure, including large bike paths to provide more room for cyclists.

While different cities and the state of California are looking for ways to reduce bicycle accidents, the best way to stay safe on bicycles comes from researching safety tips and putting them into practice.

Bicycle accidents can cause spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries, which might cause permanent disability for survivors. Frederick M. Dudek is a San Diego bicycle accident attorney dedicated to fighting for accident survivors and providing information and news on bicycle safety.

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Dudek Law Firm, APCSan Diego Bicycle Accident Attorney

Did You Know? Intersections are the most dangerous area for cyclists, where 45 percent of accidents take place.