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Important information about bicycle accidents in U.S. -- Part III

As our San Diego readers may be aware, over the course of the first two parts of this multi-part series we have examined some important statistics related to bicycle accidents that occur in America. Over the last several years, the statistics show that hundreds of bicyclists die in collisions with motor vehicles every year, and tens of thousands more are injured in these types of accidents. Here, in the third and final part of this series, we will take a look at just who the bicyclists are who are involved in dangerous and deadly collisions with motor vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps detailed statistics on the gender and age of the individuals who are reported to have been part of a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle. One particular statistic regarding fatalities in these accidents jumps off the page. A whopping 88 percent of the individuals who die in fatal bicycle accidents are male. Another fact that may also be particularly alarming for our readers is that California led the nation in the number of bicyclist fatalities in 2014.

Some of the other statistics are interesting as well. For example, the NHTSA reports that the average age of bicyclists who die in bicycle accidents has been increasing over the years. Going all the way back to the year 1988, the average age was 24. However, in 2014, the average age had climbed to 45. The NHTSA also keeps track of where fatal bicycle accidents occur. Approximately 71 percent of fatal bicycle accidents occur in urban areas.

All of these statistics can be useful for those who are responsible for setting public policy that could help reduce the number of bicyclists who are injured or killed in collisions with motor vehicles. But, for those who have been involved in one of these types of accidents, public policy won't pay the medical expenses. California residents who have been injured in a bicycle accident may want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in an attempt to recover compensation.

Source: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, "Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Statistics," Accessed July 4, 2016

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