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California cyclist deaths reach 25-year high

Riding your bike is a great way to burn calories and do your part for the environment, but it is also quite dangerous. Research shows that cyclist deaths have risen sharply across California in recent years, suggesting that you should exercise extreme caution when exploring the state on a bicycle. 

According to California Healthline, California saw more bicyclist fatalities between 2016 and 2018 than it did during any other three-year span within the past 25 years. Within that time, 455 cyclists lost their lives on state roadways, with Los Angeles, Sacramento and Orange counties seeing the most fatalities. 

Contributing factors 

What factors are contributing to the rising number of cyclists losing their lives in California? Many believe that cellphone use is a factor. Using a cellphone is a leading cause of driver distraction, and when motorists use their cellphones while driving, they become less likely to notice cyclists on the road. 

The fact that SUVs continue to grow in popularity may also enhance your risks of suffering an injury or fatality on your bike. In some cases, large SUVs also have large blind spots, which may make it harder for drivers to see cyclists. Your risk of a serious injury or death may also increase when an SUV strikes you, as opposed to a regular car, because these vehicles are higher up. So, when an SUV hits you, it may cause chest or internal injuries, while a smaller car may cause leg injuries. 

Risk factors 

You also face a higher risk of a fatal bike accident as a male. Between 2016 and 2018, male bike riders were about eight times more likely than females to die in bicycle wrecks. More information is available on our webpage. 

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