While California and every other state require bicyclists to follow the same driving rules as vehicle operators, cyclists don't always do so. Motorists often treat bicyclists differently than other drivers. This difference is one of the reasons so many bikers are either injured or killed after being struck by cars each year.
A recent report, released by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety, suggests that California has the highest number of fatal hit-and-runs of all states in the country.
Statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that 818 bike riders were involved in fatal crashes with cars in 2015. This marked over a 12 percent increase from 2014's numbers. While bicyclist death rates increased from one year to the next, the injury rate decreased by 5,000 to around 45,000 during the same time frame.
You don't have to be a professional cyclist to know that riding bikes can be quite dangerous. It's especially true when riding in traffic on Southern California's busy roadways. There are some simple precautions all bicyclists can take to avoid becoming injured when out on the road.
The incidence rate of fatal bike crashes is reportedly increasing across the United States. It's believed that bicyclists being forced to share the road with vehicles has something to do with that.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) most recent statistics from 2013, at least 900 bicyclists lost their lives and over 494,000 suffered bicycle-related injuries that year. Their data from 2010 suggests that the resulting loss of productivity and medical costs associated with that level of catastrophic injury equates to approximately $10 billion.
If you are a bicyclist in California, then you not only bear many of the same responsibilities, but also enjoy some of the same rights as drivers of any other motor vehicle. That being said, there are some very basic rules you must adhere to in order to keep both yourself and others safe when out on the road.