As a California cyclist, you get to enjoy riding your bicycle throughout much of the year. However, the more time you spend on the road, the higher your chance of a car-on-bike collision. Recent research shows that the number of bicyclists dying on California’s roads has reached a 25-year high, raising questions about what is contributing to the climb.
According to California Healthline, 455 cyclists died on California’s roads between 2016 and 2018, making this the deadliest three-year period for bicycling in the past 25 years.
What are some of the reasons California’s cyclist fatality rate is on the rise? Some of the increase may be due to the fact that more Americans are driving large SUVs, as opposed to smaller sedans. When SUVs strike cyclists, they often hit them in the upper parts of their body, where they may cause more damage than a small sedan that might strike a cyclist in the leg.
The fact that more drivers are taking to state roads is another likely contributor to the rising number of California cyclists dying within state lines. So, too, is the fact that many motorists continue to use cellphones while driving.
Many communities across California have made efforts in recent years to improve infrastructure meant to protect cyclists. Widening bike lanes and increasing signage are among the steps some towns and cities are taking. Some newer cars also have safety features that let the driver know when something like a cyclist enters a blind spot.
As a cyclist, make sure to always wear a helmet and reflective gear when you ride your bike to lower the chances of involvement in a car-on-bike crash.