If bicyclists do not take precautions, they may get into a collision with a car. These accidents can result in serious injuries for a biker, and in some situations, people may die.
Recent statistics demonstrate that there have been more fatal bike accidents over the past few years. U.S. News and World Report say that between 2016 and 2018, 455 bikers died in a traffic collision. This is the highest number of fatalities related to bike accidents in California over the past 25 years. In Orange County, there were 32 fatal bicycle accidents.
Why have there been more fatal accidents?
There are many factors involved in fatal traffic collisions. Bicycling has become a more popular mode of commuting to work. The increased number of bikers means that there are more people who may potentially be in a collision. Additionally, more drivers experience distractions from their phones. This makes it more likely that people will not see bikers until they do not have time to avoid a crash.
Researchers also suggest that the kind of cars on the road could lead to more bicycle accidents. If people drive larger cars, such as SUVs, they may have more blind spots on their vehicles. This can make it difficult for drivers to see bikers. Additionally, these vehicles sit higher on the road. While a sedan may strike a biker’s leg, an SUV may strike a biker’s chest, resulting in more severe injuries.
Can people prevent fatal bike accidents?
There may be steps that people can take so that they are not involved in traffic accidents. Researchers suggest that lower speed limits can help protect bikers. Additionally, infrastructure changes may help. While some towns have designated bike lanes, bikers may still be in close proximity to cars on the road. Infrastructure that clearly denotes which part of the road is for bikers could help prevent accidents.
Bicyclists may also want to consider learning defensive biking strategies so that they can avoid hazards on the road.