Confirming what many of those who regularly ride their bikes in Los Angeles and the Southern California area already knew, L.A. was officially named as the worst city in the United States for bicyclists in a recent report from Bicycling.com. The report highlighted some of the tremendous strides that other major cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago have taken in recent years to become more bicycle friendly. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is actually going in the opposite direction and becoming more dangerous for bicyclists with every passing year. As the author notes, LA has all of the ingredients to become a biking mecca: excellent weather year round, awful traffic that makes biking an excellent option to get around for those attempting to avoid that gridlock, and a mostly flat grid pattern of roads that makes pedaling less difficult for bicyclists. However, despite all these advantages that Los Angeles would seemingly have to make it a safe and welcoming environment for bicyclists, it is actually the opposite: Los Angeles County alone has more bicyclist fatalities every year than all but three states in the entire country. Anyone who bikes in LA is literally taking his or her life into his or her hands simply by virtue of choosing to venture out on the roads on a bicycle.
The statistics show that Los Angeles is absolutely the worst place in the country if you are a bicyclist, bar none. LA County alone has accident and fatality statistics that rival or exceed all but three entire states in the country. For instance, in the past five years alone, more than 180 riders in the Los Angeles metropolitan area have been killed by motor vehicles. During the period of 2014-2016, only three U.S. states experienced more cyclist fatalities than just L.A. County alone—Florida, New York, and the state of California as a whole. Despite the size of the LA metropolitan area, each of these states dwarfs L.A. County in population, which only puts into perspective how bad the problem of bicyclist safety in the Los Angeles area truly is. People are simply dying at a much higher rate in Los Angeles as a result of cycling accidents than just about everywhere else in the country.
The Bicycling.com report also notes that one of the particular dangers in Los Angeles for bicyclists in the past several years has been the behaviors of drivers themselves. Even though California has a strict distracted driving law, the California Office of Traffic Safety has noted that nearly 60% of motorists themselves report almost having been hit by someone using a cell phone or other handheld device while behind the wheel. The statistics further reflected that the number of drivers at any one time that are using a mobile phone and distracted is growing at a rate of more than 2% every year. Distracted drivers simply often will not see bicyclists until it is too late to do something about it, and even though the distracted driver is the one who did something wrong, it is the bicyclist that will suffer the consequences.
The Bicycling.com report further notes the large increase in hit-and-run crashes involving cyclists in Southern California in recent years. This past April, three riders were killed in such incidents in just one week. One cyclist was even hit twice during the same bike trip and both drivers who hit him fled the scene. Between distracted and simply inattentive drivers, bicyclists in Los Angeles almost don’t stand a chance. After all, how can someone on a bike with nothing but a bike helmet to protect them compete with a 5000 pound car driven by someone who is busy texting a friend and not paying attention?
If you live in California and yourself, a family member or someone you love has been injured or killed while out biking as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at JT Legal Group at (888) 529-3111 or firstname.lastname@example.org right away. Our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys handle all manner of personal injury claims, from claims against negligent drivers and their insurers for injuries caused to bicyclists. Without the help of a trusted personal injury law firm like JT Legal Group, your claim may be subject to getting pushed to the side or completely rejected. For more information, including a free consultation regarding your particular situation, contact our firm immediately – we’re here to help you.
Have you been injured in a bicycle accident as a result of someone else’s negligence? If so, we can help - contact our firm immediately.
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-- Michael Avanesian, Esq.
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