Is biking more dangerous than driving a car?
Yes. Bicyclists face a higher risk of injury and death than people who drive cars. Depending on where you live in California, and the time of the day, traffic can get very heavy and a bicyclist is unprotected. Because bicyclists usually only have their helmet to protect them, their body is completely vulnerable to a crash. A helmet is no match against a car that usually weighs more than two tons. 1
Are men or women more likely to die in a bicycle accident?
As with other types of fatal accidents involving cars, male cyclists in America die in crashes eight times more often than women. From 2016 through 2018 in California, one female died in a bike crash for every 8 males that died in one. 2
Are California bike fatalities going up?
Yes. From 2016 through 2018, more bicyclists died in traffic accidents across California state than during any three-year period in the past 25 years. 3
What are the most dangerous road types to ride a bike in Santa Clara County?
A 2020 study found that more than half of the top danger zones for Santa Clara County bicyclists occurred:
- along an expressway or
- a major arterial throughway. 4
Expressways and major arterial roads cater more toward cars than bicyclists. In 2017, the NTSA found that bicyclist deaths occur most often in urban areas (75%) compared to rural areas (25%). 5
What are the most dangerous times to ride a bike?
Regardless of the season, bicyclist deaths occurred most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. 6
What are the main types of bike crashes?
The NTSA says there are two main types of crashes: 7
- the most common (falls), and
- the most serious (the ones with cars).
How can I reduce my risk of a bicycle crash?
Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators.
This means bicyclists are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators. Bicyclists must obey traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
All bicyclists should wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet every time they ride.
A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent bicycle crash head injuries.
When cycling in the street, cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic.
Cyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing. Attention-getting clothing must be worn both during the day, at dawn, and at dusk.
Make your bike reflective at night.
Use a front light and a red reflector or flashing rear light. Use retroreflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing. 8
How can cars reduce their risk of a bicycle crash?
- Drivers of motor vehicles must share the road with bicyclists.
- Allow at least 3 feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist on the road.
- Look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling from a parking space.
- Yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals.
- Be especially watchful for cyclists when making turns, either left or right. 9
If I get hit on my bike, do I have to call the police?
What should I do after a bicycle accident?
Talk to an attorney before you do anything besides: calling 911 and seek medical care. I am Gardner Law's bicycle accident attorney Renée Yvonne Gardner. I speak Spanish - hablo español. I'm experienced with bicycle personal injury and wrongful death accident.