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Where Do Most Bicycle Accidents Occur?

September 20, 2021 Bicycle Accidents

An increasing number of cities in the U.S are becoming more bicycle-friendly with separate paths for cyclists to increase safety and encourage more people to take up cycling. However, bicycle accidents remain a significant concern and, more often than not, are devastating for the cyclist. Here, our San Diego bicycle accident lawyers discuss the importance of knowing where most bicycle accidents occur can help bicyclists and drivers stay aware and reduce the risk of a collision. 

Urban Areas

Crash data collected by the NHTSA clearly shows cyclists are most at risk of injury or death in heavily urbanized areas. In fact, 75 percent of all cyclist fatalities occur in major cities. With that statistic in mind, it is no surprise that Los Angeles is California’s most dangerous city for bicyclists since it is home to almost four million people. One of the deadliest roads in Los Angeles is along Imperial Highway in the middle of Athens Way and Vermont Avenue. The city’s most dangerous intersection is between Pacific Coast Highway and Temescal Canyon Road near Will Rogers State Beach.

San Francisco is another major city that struggles with cyclist safety. There is a serious issue with “dooring,” which refers to an accident when a driver opens their door and unexpectedly hits an oncoming cyclist.

Major Roads

Major public roads are another dangerous location for bicyclists. The heavier the traffic and higher the speed limits, the bigger the risk of a severe collision occurring. There are traffic laws in place meant to protect bicyclists by having drivers respect them as they would another vehicle, but they are often ignored. 

Not Intersections

It may be surprising due to the extensive number of car crashes at intersections, but fatal bicycle accidents tend to occur at non-intersection locations. This is often due to the higher speeds along the road. According to the NHTSA, 63 percent of fatal accidents in 2017 occurred on road areas. 

Bicycle Accident Risk FactorsBicycle Accident Risk Factors

  • A Person’s Sex: Across the board, males are more likely to be injured or killed in bike accidents than females.
  • Age: The age demographic most likely to be killed in a bike accident is those between 50 and 59 years old. When it comes to injury bike accidents, children five to 19 years old have the highest rate of accidents.
  • Alcohol: Over one in three fatal bike accidents involve either a driver or bicyclist who was under the influence of alcohol. 
  • Time of Day: The vast majority of bike accidents occur between 4 PM and 8 PM since there are more vehicles and cyclists on the road at that time. 
  • Location: As previously mentioned, most fatal bike accidents occur in urban areas and non-intersection locations. 
  • Helmets: Wearing a helmet cannot prevent a bicycle accident, but it can significantly impact the severity of an injury or prevent a fatality. 

Top 10 Dangerous States for Cyclists

  1. Delaware
  2. South Carolina
  3. Florida
  4. Louisiana
  5. New Mexico
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Mississippi
  8. West Virginia
  9. Arizona
  10. California

Top 10 States With the Highest Bicyclist Fatalities Per Capita

  1. Florida
  2. Delaware
  3. Louisiana
  4. South Carolina
  5. New Mexico
  6. California
  7. Arizona
  8. Colorado
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Indiana