On a Wednesday night last October, a 16-year-old Oxnard boy pedaled his bike westbound on Hemlock Street, near N Street. He wore reflective gear and a headlight, and he had the right of way when a vehicle fatally struck him from behind. The driver did not stop. Police found his abandoned vehicle which led them to the 39-year-old man. He was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter.
This is an all-too-common occurrence in California. If it happens to you or a loved one, the Ventura County bicycle accident attorneys at The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman is here to help.
The Oxnard Peace Ride
On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the youth of Oxnard and local law enforcement came together to ride bicycles and police horses to promote bicycle safety and raise awareness for gun violence. The Oxnard Peace Ride is meant to provide entertainment and employment opportunities for the community’s youth and those in need.
Organizers hope the event can bridge the gap between the local youth and the Oxnard Police Department and reduce animosity between the two groups. They expect more than 600 attendees.
The event also acts as a memorial for bicyclists who were killed by vehicle collisions. The idea was spawned after another 16-year-old boy, Pedro Valdez, was killed by a vehicle that crashed into a group of bikers last April in Port Hueneme.
The Numbers Behind the Tragedies
California is one of the most dangerous states for cycling. Between 2014 and 2017, California, Florida, and Texas accounted for 41% of U.S. cyclist fatalities. Although California is the sixth highest in the nation for cycling accidents, it leads the nation in cyclist deaths with bicycle accident fatalities making up 4% of all auto accidents.
California saw 455 cyclist fatalities from 2016 to 2018. In these same years, Los Angeles topped the state in fatal bike accidents with 106 deaths. This figure has had a steady increase since 2008’s 74 deaths. The probable cause for this increase may be due to Californian’s affinity for biking, accounting for nearly 15% of the nation’s cyclists.
Other interesting statistics provided by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety include:
- Nationwide, males account for significantly more bike fatalities than females. In 2019, there were 719 male fatalities versus 119 female fatalities.
- Most bicycle deaths occur in the evening between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Most fatal bicycle accidents (78%) occurred in urban areas while only 22% occurred in rural areas.
When should I contact a lawyer?
These statistics may appear anxiety-inducing, but they should not keep you off your bike. Instead, staying aware of the dangers that cyclists face may serve to keep you safe. Riding a bike is a healthy and energy-efficient mode of transportation and should be a respected means of travel.
For more than 30 years, the Ventura County bicycle accident attorneys at The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman has served our community, used our experience to successfully manage complex accident cases.