California Fatal Bicycle Accident Statistics
California reported a total of 129 bicycle fatalities involving motor vehicles for the year 2015. This is the exact same number as the year before and down from 147 for 2013. The low point for the last ten years came in 2009 with 99 deaths. This information comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Bicycle deaths make up four percent of all motor vehicle accidents, which is up from the US average of two percent. In most cases, the most serious injuries occur to the head, and the majority of deaths involve cyclists who were not wearing a helmet. Helmet use has been shown to reduce head injuries by 50 percent and face and neck injuries by 33 percent. California requires riders age 17 and younger to wear a helmet when riding a bike.
Over half of the bicycle-related fatalities around the country occur between 3 PM and 9 PM. Over two-thirds occur outside of intersections, and more than half happen on major roads that are not interstates. For bicycle accidents involving fatalities of riders under the age of 20, most of these occur on minor roads.
The number of deaths around the nation for bicycle riders increased by 13 percent in 2015. It is the highest since 1995, but the number has decreased by 19 percent since 1975.
Over half of the counties in California reported at least one fatality for a bicyclist in 2015 with four counties showing more than five and one county reporting over 25 deaths. Los Angeles County had the highest total with 30 for the year. Orange and Riverside counties reported 13 and 7, respectively. In the northern half of the state, San Diego County had five deaths while Sacramento County reported ten bicycle fatalities for the year.