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Bicycle Injuries/Fatalities in California

Nationwide, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration recently reported that in 2010 alone, at least 618 cyclists were killed and an additional 52,000 were injured in traffic collisions. Thus, cyclist deaths and injuries in 2010 accounted for at least 2% of all traffic-related fatalities and injuries. The only heartening news is that the number of cyclist injuries/fatalities has almost steadily decreased over the last eight years, but unfortunately, it still remains unacceptably high.

While California law provides that cyclists “have all the same rights and all the same duties” as motor vehicles on the road, there is unfortunately a severe and inherent tension between the sharing of public roadways between cyclists and motor vehicles.

In conjunction with bicycle-advocacy and community groups such as the California Bicycle Coalition, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, the Napa County Bicycle Coalition, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, and People Power, among others, we are working to make the roadways of the San Francisco Bay Area safer. However, these local roadways are still the location of an enormous number of bicycle injuries and fatalities. Although some bicycle collisions are caused by bicycle-operator error, the vast majority of injurious collisions occur as a result of motor vehicles operated by negligent drivers, reckless drivers, drunk drivers, and criminally-liable drivers.