Bicycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that bicyclists injuries and fatalities in the United States increased from 45,000 injuries and 732 deaths in 2001 to 48,000 injuries and 743 deaths in 2013 . Hospital records indicate that the actual numbers may be higher because not all injury-causing bicycle accidents are reported to the police.
Cause of a Bike Accident
A few causes of bicyclist accidents by driver negligence are (1) Failure to yield right-of-way (2) Failure to check for cyclists before making a turn at an intersection (3) Failure to stop at a sign or red light (4) Bike lane intrusion (5) Dooring (6) Distracted driving (7) Drunk driving.
Sometimes they are not caused by driver negligence, rather by other factors like poorly designed or maintained highways, street and/or freeways and/or poor lighting.
Bicycle Laws in California
Bicyclists have rights and have to follow regulations of the road. Under California Vehicle Code:
- Section 21200: Bicyclists can ride on the street except on freeways and bridges where biking is not permitted. This regulation also requires all cyclists to obey the same rules and laws as motorists, including stopping at red lights and stop signs.
- Section 21202: Bicyclists must stick to the rightmost side of the lane unless passing a vehicle or making a left turn.
- Section 21650: Bicyclists can leave the right side of the lane to go around construction zones or to move around slow moving traffic.
- Section 21804: Bicyclists must yield to traffic before entering the roadway.
Many bicyclists continue to get hurt or killed every day even though these laws are in place.