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California Bicycle Accident Statistics 2024

Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer represents bicycle accident victims throughout Northern California. Our team understands how difficult and challenging these accidents can be, particularly in this region, where bicycling is one of the most popular activities. In looking at the underlying data, it can show just how prevalent these accidents are. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a bicycle accident, contact us today for a free consultation to talk about your options.

Bicycle Accidents in California

Because bicycling is so popular throughout California, it’s really no surprise that there are so many of these accidents each year. According to data from the California Highway Patrol’s Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS), California seen a yearly average of:

  • 9,218 bicycle accidents statewide over the last five years.

This breaks down to:

  • 2018 – 11,078
  • 2019 – 10,264
  • 2020 – 8,095
  • 2021 – 7,766
  • 2022 – 8,888

Not only does this show the number of bicycle accidents, it also categorizes them in terms of injuries. It’s unfortunate, but a typical bicycle accident is going to leave you facing significant injuries, like:

  • Brain trauma and concussions
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal damage
  • Neck injuries
  • Road rash
  • Cuts and bruises

To stay safe, always wear a helmet, use bright clothing, stick to bike lanes or ride against traffic, and add lights to your bike. Even by taking these precautions, accidents can still happen, particularly in certain areas of the region.

Where Do Bicycle Accidents Happen in Northern California?

Northern California represents a vast region with numerous opportunities to get out and enjoy the sights on your bicycle. Whether you live along the coast or inland, there’s trails, lanes, and cityscapes at your disposal.

But in these more populated areas, there’s increased traffic and other impediments that can lead to accidents. According to our TIMS data, most bicycle accidents in the region happened in the following counties over the last five years:

  • Santa Clara – 552.6
  • Alameda – 469.6
  • Sacramento – 448.6
  • San Francisco – 455.2
  • Contra Costa – 176.6

Obviously, given the population centers in these counties, it stands to reason that this is where most of the region’s bike accidents happen. At the same time, these accidents can happen anywhere, virtually at any time. That said, there’s a few reasons why these accidents are more likely to happen in these areas:

  • Traffic congestion – Busy roads and intersections can increase the likelihood of accidents involving cyclists and vehicles.

  • Lack of bike lanes – In some areas, there may be insufficient infrastructure for cyclists, leading to encounters with motor vehicles.

  • Poor road conditions – Potholes, uneven surfaces, and debris on roads can pose hazards to cyclists.

  • Limited visibility – Weather conditions such as fog or rain, especially common in certain parts of Northern California, can reduce visibility for both cyclists and drivers.

  • Inattentive drivers – Distracted or careless drivers may fail to notice cyclists sharing the road, leading to collisions.

  • Cycling inexperience – Some accidents may occur due to inexperienced cyclists who are unfamiliar with road rules or proper cycling techniques.

Fatal Bicycle Accidents in California

By far the worst outcome of a bicycle accident is a fatal injury. While this can be difficult to think about, it’s not out of the realm of possibility, particularly when you consider the relative lack of protection you have on a bike against a moving vehicle or hard surfaces. TIMS data would seemingly confirm this, showing that there have been an average of:

  • 4 fatal bike accidents in California over the last five years.

Broken down per year, this equates to:

  • 2018 – 177
  • 2019 – 161
  • 2020 – 153
  • 2021 – 140
  • 2022 – 196

As we touched on above, every bicycle accident is going to result in some level of injury. But the factors that come with these accidents can quickly rise to the level of fatal. Most often, fatal injuries result from:

  • Car accidents – Accidents involving cars or trucks are often severe due to the size and speed of the vehicles.

  • Traumatic head injuries – Not wearing a helmet when riding puts you at higher risk of suffering fatal head injuries in accidents.

  • Severe internal injuries – Impact with the road or objects can cause critical damage to internal organs.

  • Spinal cord injuries – Damage to the spinal cord can result in paralysis or other life-threatening conditions.

  • Collisions with fixed objects – Crashing into poles, trees, or barriers can cause fatal injuries upon impact.

  • Multiple injuries – Often, you’ll sustain multiple severe injuries in accidents, increasing the likelihood of fatality.

What’s worse, these accidents can happen to you or those at any experience level. However, certain parts of the bike riding population in the region are more vulnerable to being in a bicycle accident.

Youth Bicycle Accidents in California

When it comes to bicycle accidents in California, children are among the most vulnerable groups of people. TIMS data showed that, over the last five years, children have been in an average of:

  • 917 bicycle accidents statewide per year.

Year by year, this equals out to:

  • 2018 – 1,045
  • 2019 – 950
  • 2020 – 652
  • 2021 – 820
  • 2022 – 1,118

As you might expect, the reasons for children being more vulnerable to accidents are the fact that they don’t have the same level of experience, nor ability to maneuver and control a bicycle. Moreover, their bodies are still developing, so they may not grasp the inherent risk of riding  bicycles in more crowded or dangerous locations of the region.

Contact Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer After a Northern California Bicycle Accident

Whenever you or a loved one are in a bicycle accident in Northern California, you’ll probably need all sorts of help and assistance. At Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer, we know how to guide you through the challenging process. We’ll explain your rights and options, and what you need to do to recover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death expenses

Don’t wait–contact my firm today for a free consultation.

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Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer represents bicycle accident victims throughout Northern California. Our team understands how difficult and challenging these accidents can be, particularly in this