News cycles come and go. If a few bicycle accidents happen in a short period of time, you start to feel like cycling is more dangerous than it's ever been before. You wonder if you should look for a new hobby or a new means of transportation.
But what do the statistics tell you? Just how dangerous is cycling in California?
In 2017, the most recent year for which we have complete statistics, there were 124 fatal bicycle accidents. That's a significant drop from 2016, which spiked at 155 fatalities. However, it is still far higher than previous years.
For instance, back in 2008, there were 109 fatalities. Things then started trending down, hitting 99 fatalities in 2009 and 100 fatalities in 2010. That's when something changed, and the stats started trending upward again.
In 2011, there were 116 fatalities. That was followed up in 2012 with 129 fatalities, which in turn was followed by 147 in 2013. It then dropped back to 129 in 2014 and then increased again to 136 in 2015. That brought us to the high point in 2016, with 155 deaths, and then the 124 fatalities that happened last year.
What is clear is that cyclists face at least the same amount of risk going into 2019 as they did a decade ago, and it may even be slightly worse. Things are certainly not getting safer overall, despite appearing to do so briefly back in 2009.
Cyclists must be aware of these risks. Those who suffer serious injuries or the families of those who are killed need to know all of the legal options they have to seek compensation.