Since 1994, there have been 40,000 fatal accidents in the United States each year. The scary thing for cyclists in California is that nearly 10% of them are happening in their state.
With an increasing number of vehicles on the road, cyclists need to be careful when it comes to their safety. While bike accidents only account for around 3% of California’s fatal collisions, there are hazards coming from each and every direction.
Usually when a cyclist gets hit on the side it doesn’t prove to be fatal. Nonetheless, you should still know how to protect yourself from side-impact collisions while biking. A couple of the most common places for side crashes to occur include intersections and crosswalks.
California averages around 10 fatal side-impact bike accidents each year, with most of the crashes occurring on the right side. You can prevent side collisions by practicing safe biking habits such as scanning every intersection, never assuming a vehicle sees you, and communicating with others through signals and other methods.
The Rear End
While not nearly as common, rear end bike accidents still pose a major risk for cyclists in California. From 2002-2006 there were 11 fatal rear-end bike accidents in the state and many more accidents that resulted in injury.
Rear end bike accidents can happen in a number of ways: when a cyclist is making a left turn and a driver doesn’t see him in the lane, when a cyclist swerves to dodge an obstacle without seeing the car behind them, or when a driver doesn’t see a cyclist on the road at night.
The best way to avoid rear-end accidents is to communicate your directional changes and get quality safety gear including a mirror, reflectors, a flashing red rear light, and a glowing safety triangle.
The front of the bike is the initial point of impact in over 80% of California’s bike accidents each year. There are numerous ways you may be involved in this type of bike accident, but often times these are also the most avoidable.
Unlike rear-end collisions or some side crashes, the threat is always in your line of view. You can greatly reduce your chance of being in a bike accident by practicing good observation skills and being aware of possible hazards before they are too close to dodge.
While California’s roads are congested and filled with obstacles, cyclists can avoid bike accidents by being aware of the risks around them and practicing safe biking tactics. Safety gear, good observational
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