Reality is grim for Southern California bicycle accidents

Nobody walks in L.A. - but they do bike.

Bike ridership increased 7.5 percent in Los Angeles from 2011 to 2013, including more than 20,000 commuters. Some of this increase has been attributed to additional bike lanes, which eases the ride on many busy streets. This increase of bicycles should also come with a decrease in accidents. Unfortunately, with distracted driving on the rise, this is not the case. 

Southern California is facing the potential for the highest number of bicycle rider fatalities in years, with 40 deaths from just January through May, compared to 21 at this same time last year. Fatal accidents last year totaled 73, compared to 86 in 2014 and 89 in 2013. These numbers include fatal accidents from the seven county area that includes San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Los  Angeles and Ventura. 

They may not seem high, but these figures do not account for the non-fatal accidents that may have resulted in serious injury. Also alarming is that the total may increase rather than decrease this year.

"The numbers are way too high; let's make that clear," Ted Rogers, founder of BikinginLA.com, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. "One is way too many. Eighty-something is just obscene."

The League of American Bicyclists reports that about 40 percent of bike accidents are "hit from behind," with side collisions second at 11 percent. Mostly these are caused by distracted or reckless driving, with hit-and-run accidents a close second.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, no matter how severe, you may want to consult with an attorney to understand your legal rights.

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