June 12, 2013
There’s hardly been a worse time to bicycle in Orange County. This year alone, according to California Highway Patrol data, bicycle accidents have increased by about 40% in Orange County. That isn’t the only statistic that concerns California bicycle accident lawyers. In Los Angeles County, the number of accidents involving bicycles has increased by a staggering 90% since 2002.
In Orange County in 2011, there were approximately 1,400 bicycle accident-related injuries. According to VoiceofOC.org, some of the highest at-risk bicycle accident magnets are Main Street in Santa Ana, and downtown Anaheim. In many of these in neighborhoods, bicycle accident victims happen to be Latino immigrants, whose deaths very rarely make the headlines. These bicycle accidents are never reported in the media.
According to statistics, many bicycle accident fatalities recently have involved young Latinos. Bicycling has taken off in the Latin American community in Southern California, with this segment of the population accounting for some of the highest increases in bicyclists across California. Many undocumented immigrants, who lose their licenses at drunk driving checkpoints, are bicycling to work, and school. That means more numbers of bicyclists competing for space on roads that are simply not designed for bicyclists.
There are signs that the situation could soon change. The Orange County Transportation Authority recently approved approximately 9 million dollars in grants for bicycle infrastructure projects. Hopefully, the money will be used to develop and improve the inadequate current bicycle infrastructure in Southern California, including the construction of more bicycle lanes. OC law enforcement also needs to be more active about educating motorists about bicyclist rights, and increasing safe biking practices among bicycle commuters.