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Different trends for car and bicycle accident fatalities

In recent years, more and more people who are involved in California car accidents have been surviving thanks to safety innovations and medical care, and the fatality rate has been falling. However, cars are not the only vehicles on the roads, and bike accident fatalities have actually been trending entirely in the opposite direction. If anything, the roads have grown more dangerous for bikers since 2009.

The stats kept by the Department of Transportation show that over 700 cyclists passed away after accidents with cars and other motor vehicles in 2009. In California, things were especially bad. While half of the deaths were spread out over the other 49 U.S. states, just about half of them took place in California.

There are many contributing factors that take an accident from an injury to a fatality. One of the biggest is the use of a bike helmet. For proof, just look at the stats from 2009. Only 9 percent of the cyclists who died in accidents had helmets on when they passed away. The other 91 percent of the fatalities were linked to bikers who neglected to wear their helmets.

Of course, even wearing helmets will not prevent accidents. Around 500,000 people had to go to the emergency room after crashes, and those visits could still be needed even without a major head injury. However, helmets can help to make sure that cyclists pull through, rather than being killed.

If you have been injured in a bike accident, or if you have lost a loved one in this way, be sure that you know what rights you have.

Source: Times-Herald, "Eric Ratinoff: Bike helmet law is common sense" Eric Ratinoff, accessed Mar. 17, 2015

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