Every year, tens of thousands of cyclists and other motorists make the zigzag ascent to Mount Palomar. On the map it is designated as part of California Rt. 76. It has been described as "the most technical road in Southern California" - meaning it is a marvel of complex road engineering, climbing hundreds of feet in a few dizzying miles.
In many areas throughout the country, public and private entities are encouraging the population to be more conscious about the environment and our use of natural resources. In California specifically, many of our readers have probably seen many of the attempts to encourage "green" energy, such as solar and wind energy plans, as well as advancements in transportation technology. One simple concept is being pushed pretty hard: riding a bicycle instead of commuting via automobile.
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.
In the first part of this multi-part series we took a look at some of the statistics concerning fatalities that occur as a result of collisions involving bicyclists and motorists. Those statistics boiled down to this: about two people per day are killed in these types of bicycle accidents in America. Fatalities are obviously the worst-case scenario for bicyclists. But, the reality is that there are far more incidents that occur in which a bicyclist does not die in a collision, but is instead severely injured. Here, in Part II of this series, we will take a look at some of those injury statistics.
The summer season is in full-swing and bicyclists are traveling roads and trails throughout America, but for as much fun as this activity can be there are also dangers. Here, in a multi-part series, we will take a look at some of the statistics regarding bicyclists and the potential for injuries and, in the worst case scenarios, fatalities.
Although it is easy enough for a person riding a bicycle to take all the necessary precautions to stay safe, the fact is that many injuries that bicyclists suffer are caused when they are struck by a vehicle. In a sprawling urban area like Southern California, there are many people riding bicycles at any given point in time, whether it is people commuting to work or school or people just out for a ride for recreation. When there are many bicyclists and motorists sharing the road at a time, bicycle accidents are bound to happen.
There is almost no question about it: when bicyclists in San Diego are struck by a vehicle, they are going to suffer serious injuries. In the best case scenarios, a bicycle accident could lead to some cuts, bruises and maybe some broken bones. But, in the worst case scenarios, bicycle accidents could lead to brain injuries, paralysis or even result in fatalities.
There are many San Diego residents who commute every day in their own vehicles, but there are also those who find in more convenient to ride a bicycle or walk. That is one of the great traits of most major metropolitan areas - residents have a choice in how they get from here to there. Most of the time commuters of all stripes can share the roadways and walkways of San Diego just fine, but all parties have obligations to meet in order to ensure that they do not cause potentially dangerous accidents.
Bicycle safety is of particular importance in San Diego, where the beautiful year-round weather allows bicyclists to take to the roads and surrounding trails to enjoy what is becoming a more popular transportation and recreation option by the day. But, as previous posts here have mentioned, more frequent bicycling - and more bicyclists overall - unfortunately also creates an environment where the likelihood of bicycle accidents seems to be heightened. And, the reality is that some of these bicycle accidents can be fatal.
Many of our San Diego readers probably ride their bicycles to and from work, or perhaps just for recreation, on a regular basis. There is no doubt that bicycling is becoming more popular every year, and many cities throughout the country are actively making changes to their infrastructure to accommodate this change in transportation habits. One potential problem, however, is that more bicyclists on and near our roadways could mean more bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles.