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Statistics show an increase in bicyclists killed in car crashes

If you ever ride your bicycle for fun, exercise or environment-friendly transportation, you might occasionally feel out of place. The streets in most California cities were designed around automobile traffic. Not only does this make riding a bicycle more difficult, it also makes it more dangerous.

Because of the size and weight difference between cars and bicycles, collisions between the two often result in serious injuries or death for the bicycle rider. In fact, statistics show that bicyclist deaths are on the rise nationwide. In 2015, for instance, the rate of annual bicyclist deaths climbed by 12.2 percent, which was greater than the increase in overall traffic fatalities.

Unlike decades ago, when most bike accident victims would have been children, the average age of bicycle riders killed in crashes in 2015 was 45. In many cases, the accidents were the result of distracted driving, drunk driving and plain carelessness.

What Can Be Done To Make Streets Safer?

How can we reduce bike accidents while still encouraging people to keep riding? According to one report, the following changes would help:

  • Adding more bike lanes to streets
  • Making current bike lanes more clearly defined so that people can see them
  • Adding "bike boxes" to traffic signal poles with traffic signals specifically meant for riders

Of course, the biggest change needed is a change in driver attitudes. There is still a mentality that streets are only for cars, and that bicyclists just get in the way. We all have a right to use the streets, and we must all respect the rights of others to do the same.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in bicycle accident caused by a careless or negligent driver, please contact a personal injury attorney to learn about your rights and legal options.

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