It appears that bicyclist deaths have slowly but surely begun to rise in the past few years across the U.S. and one of the biggest spikes in fatalities is seen in California. Between 2010 and 2012 there have been 338 people who have died while biking. Bicycle fatalities increasing in California is cause for worry, says new report.
The Governors Highway Safety Association have reported that the cause of the death spike is due to the expanding commuter culture. According to the 2013 Census Bureau data, 62% more people have chosen to go to work using their bikes since the year 2000.
The Governors Highway Safety Association report gathered data from 2010 to 2012 and analyzed it. It appears that California was one of the six states that made up 54% percent of bicycle fatalities in the whole country. The report revealed bicycle fatalities increasing in California has brought the California death toll from 100 in 2010 to 123 in 2012. In percentage numbers, this represents a 16% national increase, while the motor vehicle fatalities only increased by 1% in the U.S.
There are more factors that contributed to the bicycle fatalities increasing in California, other than a high number of bicycle commuters. For example, two thirds of the people who were killed in 2014 were not wearing a helmet and more than a quarter of those died while riding a bicycle had consumed alcohol over the legal limit for driving in the state of California.
The Governors Highway Safety Association report also revealed that the age of the riders has increased: people over 20 made up 21% of the victims in the year 1975 and in 2013, 85% of the casualties were over 20. The vast majority of those killed were men: 74%.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition revealed that in San Francisco, the number of people riding bicycles has doubled between 2006 and now and that in 2013, four cyclists were killed in the city.
The executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, Jonathan Adkins, said that:
There’s more biking in general, and more biking in urban areas. But you’ve got to protect cyclists when they’re out there on the road with motor vehicles. This is a share-the-road situation.