California is arguably the most versatile state in the nation. Within its borders, California boasts snowcapped mountains and scorching deserts, beaches that are warm year-round and waters that are generally never warm enough to swim in comfortably. If you love any particular outdoor activity, you can likely find a place to do that activity in California. And this is just one of the reasons why so many cyclists can be found on California roads and trails at any given time of the year.
Unfortunately, while California may lead the nation in versatile outdoor experiences, it also leads the nation in some of the most devastating consequences of outdoor fun. More cyclists and bike riders are killed in California than in any other state in the union. And it is important to note that the rate of fatal bicycle accidents which occur in California is not just “a bit” higher than most other states. California leads the pack by quite a margin, with the single exception of Florida.
According to a recent report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, 123 individuals lost their lives due to fatal biking accidents in California in 2012 alone. Only Florida’s rate of fatal bicycle accidents comes close to “competing” with California’s, as Florida’s 2012 fatality rate was 120 cyclist deaths. Texas came in third with 56 fatalities, which is roughly half the rate of California’s.
It is imperative that state and local lawmakers work to educate the public about bicycle safety and to make California safer for bike riders and cyclists. The 2012 fatality rate is one that should never be repeated.
Source: Findlaw Injured, “Top 10 States for Bicyclist Fatalities Revealed,” Daniel Taylor, Oct. 28, 2014