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Where Do Most Bicycle Accidents Occur in California?

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Posted By DAM Firm | July 21 2021 | Bike Accidents, Personal Injury

Bicycle accidents often result in devastating injuries for the cyclists involved. Unfortunately, bicyclists do not have the same levels of protection surrounding them as drivers and passengers inside traditional vehicles. 

But where do most bicycle accidents occur? Do they happen near parks? Are these crashes prevalent near college campuses? In urban areas?

Here, our bike accident attorneys in Orange County want to examine where most bicycle accidents occur. With this information, you can begin to take the steps necessary to prevent a devastating collision that could completely alter a person’s life.

Understanding Where Bicycle Accidents Occur

When we examine data provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, we can see that there were more than 10,000 bicyclists who sustained injuries in vehicle crashes during the latest reporting year across the state. However, the data does not specify where these incidents occurred.

A recent study published in American Family Physician says that most bicycle accidents occur on roadways. That does make sense because the roadways are where bicyclists most often commingle with others. What most people do not realize is that bicyclists typically have the same rights as other vehicles on the roadway, with the exception of major highways and freeways.

Public roadways present incredible dangers for cyclists. It is not uncommon for vehicle drivers to completely ignore bicyclists. Bicycle crashes can occur in a variety of areas on the actual roadway. This can include the following:

  • On straight road stretches. Accidents on long stretches of the road often occur because drivers follow bicyclists too closely or pass bicyclists too closely. When a driver follows a bicyclist too closely, they could end up rear-ending them in the event the bicyclist has to stop suddenly. Passing a bicyclist too closely could lead to deadly sideswipe accidents and result in a bicyclist being run off the road.
  • At intersections. Intersections are one of the most dangerous areas of the roadway. This is especially true for bicyclists who are either trying to pass through the intersection or make a turn. If a bicyclist is going through an intersection and has the right of way, drivers may decide to turn and ignore the right of the cyclist to pass through. Additionally, when a bicyclist needs to make a turn, other drivers may not yield the right of way. This can lead to deadly collisions, particularly if a vehicle driver is operating at a high rate of speed going through the intersection.
  • Near driveways. Bicyclists face significant dangers from drivers backing out of driveways or coming out of an alleyway. This is a time when drivers often fail to completely check their surroundings and can lead to the driver backing right into a bicyclist.
  • In parking lots. Parking lots can be confusing for everyone, particularly with vehicles trying to find parking spaces and those trying to back out of parking spaces. It can be very easy for vehicle drivers to disregard smaller bicycles when they are trying to maneuver in a parking lot.

Statistics do show that most bicycle accidents occur in more urban areas in California and throughout the US. This is simply where more bicyclists tend to congregate around other vehicles on the roadway. Regardless of where a bicycle accident occurs, it may be necessary for victims to work with skilled Orange County injury attorneys who can fully evaluate their claim and helped them recover complete compensation for their losses.

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