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How safe is Los Angeles for bicycle riders?

While the question can be phrased two ways, asking how dangerous or safe Los Angeles roadways are for bicyclists, the fact is that you and other bicycle riders in the region can be confronted by major safety hazards at any given time. Being aware of bicycle accident statistics and factors can help you better navigate the city and your own safety efforts.

The Los Angeles Times reported on bicycle accident statistics, and referred to a study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute that offered some sobering insight into the topic. The study included national accident rates, as well as those of New York City and Los Angeles, and included data collected from regional and national traffic safety agencies between the years of 2002 and 2009. During that time, more than 2,000 of the some 449,498 accidents that occurred in L.A. proved to be fatal. And while the national average for bicycle rider fatalities was estimated to be a little less than 2 percent, that figure reached approximately 3 percent in the city.

Los Angeles accident and fatality rates did fair better than New York figures, but still illustrate that more can and should be done to protect you and other bicycle riders. The fact that many city dwellers engage in nighttime activities was believed to be linked to statistics suggesting that evening accident rates in L.A. were higher than national figures. Interestingly, it was also determined that L.A. experienced a significantly high number of fatal low-speed collisions and intersection crashes.

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