San Diego has a lovely climate year-round, so it isn’t surprising that many people choose to use bicycles to get around town. Bicycling is an excellent hobby and form of transportation. It provides you with exercise, fresh air and the ability to avoid traffic jams. However, there are some negatives to bicycling on public roadways in San Diego.
The most significant one is the risk of personal injury or even death if you end up in a crash caused by a motorized vehicle. If you enjoy cycling, chances are good you already engage in risk management practices, such as wearing a helmet and ensuring you are adequately visible to the people around you on the road. Beyond that, it may be wise to avoid certain parts of town when cycling, especially during low light times of day and heavy traffic periods.
Downtown and several popular neighborhoods are the most dangerous
A study recently published in the San Diego Union-Tribune explored which areas of San Diego are the most dangerous for those who commute by bicycle. It looked at the number of crashes resulting in injuries between 2010 and 2016.
Pacific Beach is one area that has a high number of injuries and accidents. This could be due to the presence of many visitors and tourists in the area, which is known both for its bar and restaurant scene and its lovely beaches. Regardless of the cause, many cyclists find themselves hurt after traveling in Pacific Beach.
Both Oceanside and Escondido also have higher rates of injury than other parts of San Diego, as well as the downtown area and Rosecrans Street. The list also includes Coronado Beach, Mission Beach, Loma Portal, West H Street in Chula Vista, Palm Avenue near Imperial Beach and Coast Highway in Encinitas.
Be extra careful if you choose to ride in a high risk area
Just because you want to bike in an area that has a higher than average rate of bicycle car crashes resulting in injury doesn’t mean you have to risk your life. Knowing which areas have higher rates of accidents helps you stay extra careful when entering those areas.
Be aware of the fact that not only is your own decision-making critical, but also awareness of what other drivers around you are doing. Paying a close eye on traffic is always important on a bike, but especially in areas known for higher risks of bicycle crashes.
If you do wind up getting hurt because a driver hits you while you are on a bike, you likely have legal options to hold that driver accountable. Personal injury lawsuits may allow you to collect compensation for medical costs related to injuries, as well as lost wages and the cost of replacing your bike.