Life in California comes with many perks, and one of them involves the fact that you have an opportunity to ride your bicycle year-round. You would be wise to exercise extreme caution when traveling the state by bicycle, though, because California is among the nation’s top three states for cyclist deaths.
Per U.S. News & World Report, California, Texas and Florida currently hold the top three spots in the nation for bicyclist deaths. In fact, bike deaths that occur in these three states comprise 41% of all bike deaths that take place nationwide.
Research shows that your chance of dying on a bike increases when certain circumstances exist. Older cyclists are more likely to die in car-on-bike wrecks than younger cyclists, with adults between 45 and 64 accounting for 40% of all bike deaths between 2014 and 2017.
Failing to wear a helmet also places you at a much higher risk of a bike fatality, with only about 16% of those who die in bike crashes wearing helmets at the time of the wreck. Studies show that you also run a higher risk of dying in a bike wreck when you are traveling on an open road, as opposed to through an intersection.
While your chances of involvement in a deadly bike crash in California are high, bike fatalities have also increased at the national level in recent years. Between 2010 and 2017, the number of bike deaths nationwide rose 25%.
While bike deaths occur in all communities across California, some areas, such as Los Angeles and San Bernardino, are particularly dangerous to navigate by bike.