Is bicycling becoming more dangerous in Valley Center and throughout San Diego County? Bicyclists in San Diego have been voicing concerns for quite some time about serious and deadly bike accident injuries in Southern California, and many safety groups have pushed for the creation or renovation of bike lanes. Yet according to a recent article in CaliforniaHealthline.org, bicycle accidents continue to result in life-threatening and fatal injuries in the state. Indeed, as the article points out, as of late January 2020, the overall rate of bike accident deaths in California had reached a 25-year high.
Rise in California Bike Accident Deaths
According to the article, between 2016-2018, California had the highest rate of fatal bicycle accidents “for any three-year period since the mid-1990s.” During that period, the average death rate for bicycle accidents reached its highest point since the early 2000s. This information comes as cities across California expand bike share programs and more residents invest in bicycling.
Overall, bicycle accidents are rising across the country. In other words, California is not alone in its bicycle fatality problem. However, rates of bike accident deaths have risen faster in some California counties than in many other parts of the country. The rising rate of bike accident deaths likely has to do, in part, with the increased popularity of cycling.
Of all regions of California, Los Angeles County had a particularly high rate of bicycle fatality increases, as did Sacramento County, San Bernardino County, and San Joaquin County.
Staying Safe While Bicycling in San Diego County
If you regularly ride your bicycle in Valley Center or elsewhere in San Diego County, it is extremely important to understand ways of reducing your risk of getting hurt in a serious bike accident or collision with an automobile. The League of American Bicyclists offers some of the following tips for avoiding a collision:
- Always be alert, and continuously be on the lookout for any drivers who do not appear to be abiding by traffic safety rules and regulations;
- Make sure you are predictable, riding in bike lanes when possible and avoiding any sudden turns or lane changes when you are riding with motor vehicle traffic;
- Use bicycle safety products, including lights and reflectors on your bicycle, as well as a DOT-approved helmet;
- Do not wear headphones while you are cycling, even if you are on a bike path or another trail outside traffic zones;
- Never ride on the sidewalk, even if it looks like there are few pedestrians;
- Do your best to make eye contact with motorists, and make use of hand signals and verbal cues if you are planning to pass or turn;
- Never ride within three feet of parked cars to your right or left, or else you can be injured in a “dooring” accident if a driver opens his or her door;
- Know that you must yield to pedestrians as if you are a motorist;
- Abide by all traffic rules and regulations when you are sharing the road with motorists; and
- Remain calm.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Valley Center
Bike accidents often happen because of a motor vehicle driver’s negligence, from distracted driving to aggressive driving. If you were injured in a collision with an automobile, you should speak with an experienced Valley Center bicycle accident attorney about filing a claim for compensation. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we represent personal injury plaintiffs throughout Southern California.
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