California residents enjoy more favorable weather than cyclists who live in many other parts of the United States. This is among the many reasons bike travel is so popular statewide. However, with a high number of cyclists comes a high number of cyclist fatalities, and California is currently among the worst states in the nation for cyclist deaths.
According to U.S. News and World Report, California is sixth in the nation in terms of the number of bike fatalities it sees per capita. The only states that see more cyclist deaths per capita are Florida, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina and New Mexico.
Cyclist death statistics
More bicyclists have taken to California’s roadways in recent years, with the number of cyclists riding the nation’s roads increasing by 26% between June of 2019 and June of 2020. In 2019, there were 846 cyclist deaths that occurred across the United States. This is a more than 35% increase over 2010’s 623-death low.
Cyclist death causes
The majority of today’s cyclist fatalities involve head injuries, spotlighting the importance of cyclists wearing helmets every time they ride. Most cyclist deaths also occur in urban areas, as opposed to more rural ones. Alcohol is also a common factor in cyclist fatalities. Sometimes, the person under the influence is the party riding the bike. Other times, it is the person driving the vehicle that strikes the cyclist.
There is only so much cyclists might do to protect themselves when motorists exercise negligence behind the wheel. However, wearing helmets and abstaining from using alcohol before riding a bike should lower fatality risks to some degree.