Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Truth About Los Angeles Bicycle Accidents

The truth about Los Angeles Bicycle accidents is a scary thing. The car turns into your path as you ride your bicycle down to the Marina del Rey pier and a car turns left in front of you without looking. The driver was talking on her cell and putting on make up. Cyclists call it getting "T-boned."

In Los Angeles County alone, at least 34 cyclists die every year in car crash collisions. At least 2,900 cyclists are injured in LA every year. Many car drivers don't know or simply do not even care that bicyclists have the same rights and are governed by the same regulations as motor vehicles.

Wearing a bicycle helmet is the first step for cyclists to avoid serious injury or death, according Arline Dillman, who is a Traffic Safety Manager at the Automobile Club of Southern California. Statistics from the California Highway Patrol, prove that only two of the 28 cyclists killed in LA in 1999 wore their helmet. Bicycles are used on the road for many purposes.

A study by of bicycle accidents in LA suggests that children from 5 to 14 years old have the highest bike crash incidents. This is despite the fact there is a legal requirement in California for bicyclists under the of 18 to wear bicycle helmets.

Safe Bicycling Information:

* Wear a helmet approved for bicyclists by the state.

* Ride with the flow of traffic.

* Obey signs and traffic signals.

* Use hand signals.

* Stay in the bike lane if safe to do so.

* Don't weave in and out of traffic and keep an eye out for swinging doors of cars that could cause you to flip.

* If no bike lane provided, ride to the right side of motor vehicles.

* Do not share narrow lanes - ride in the center. This is called "taking the lane" and it is in fact legal.

Bicycle Statistics:

* The first car crash in the United States involved was an 1896 motor vehicle v. bicycle.

* The fatality rate for bicyclists from 5 and 15 years old is almost double that of adult cyclists. For every youngster killed on a bike, at least 100 were seriously injured.

* Alcohol involvement, either driver or cyclist, is often a factor in at least 1/3rd of bicyclists fatalities.

* 112 cyclists were killed in California back in 1999.

* At least 64 percent of all bikers wrongfully killed by cars in California were riding bikes while riding in their neighborhoods.

* From 1986 and 1995 cars in Los Angeles County killed at least 340 bicyclists, and out of that, 29,920 were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving a bicycle.

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