National Bike to Work Week ran from May 13 to May 17. While the goal of the week was to get people to consider spending more time on their bikes, promoting cycling and reducing the number of cars on the road in California, it also served another purpose: drawing attention to just how dangerous biking can be.
In 2017, coroner’s records show that 16 people lost their lives while cycling in Orange County alone. Last year, the number was at least 14. It seems like more than a dozen people get into these deadly accidents year in and year out.
Of course, as troubling as these statistics are, they’re just the tip of the iceberg. They reflect fatalities, but not the scores of people who suffer serious injuries and end up in the hospital. They also are only for Orange County, while it’s clear that accidents like this happen all across California.
The range of people who face these risks is just enormous. For instance, the oldest person to die in an Orange County cycling accident in 2018 was 84 years old. He was fatally struck while riding in his hometown of Lake Forest. The youngest person was 17 years old. He died in Santa Ana.
Of course, these statistics should not discourage people from riding their bike to work. Cycling is good for the environment, it’s good for your health and it’s a positive economic decision for many people. However, this does show how important it is to know your rights if you suffer injuries in a bicycle accident.