Is Cycling in the Bay Area Safer in 2022?

Bicycle accidents are an all too frequent occurrence in the San Francisco area. The number of automobiles, pedestrians, buses, delivery vans, and other vehicles on the street make the situation for bicyclists that much more dangerous.

Unfortunately, many bicyclists in San Francisco are left to the mercy of careless drivers. Although major thoroughfares like Valencia street — which claim to have dedicated cyclist lanes — are unsafe. Inattentive drivers often veer into these lanes with little to no concern for rider safety.

Due to the increase in biking accidents, The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan conducted a study on crashes in the San Francisco area. This five-year steady sheds light on the hazards and what can be done to increase safety. (Image credit to the study mentioned).

According to TransBASE, San Francisco’s bicycle accident tracker, accidents trended upward from 2017 to 2019. However, there was a noted drop from 2021 to 2022 due to the pandemic. This is the following data regarding vehicle/bicycle accidents from 2017-2019:
  • 2017 – 460 accidents
  • 2018 – 457 accidents
  • 2019 – 459 accidents
  • 2020 – 311 accidents
  • 2021 – 316 accidents

The number of fatal accidents involving vehicles/bicycles has remained steady from 2017 to 2021. Unfortunately, California’s rate of biking fatalities still remains high when compared to the rest of the country. The following data is regarding accidents in San Francisco from 2017 to 2021:

  • 2017 – 2
  • 2018 – 3
  • 2019 – 1
  • 2020 – 2
  • 2021 – 2

While San Francisco is among the highest-ranking cities for bicycling fatalities, Modesto, Santa Ana, San Bernadino, Bakersfield, and Sacramento all ranked high according to the data.

TransBASE also showed some astounding numbers regarding the days and times of bicycling accidents in the San Francisco area. The following data was charted by the day and week in 2021:

  • Monday – 46
  • Tuesday – 58
  • Wednesday – 66
  • Thursday – 68
  • Friday – 68
  • Saturday -55
  • Sunday – 52

The following is data regarding bicycle accidents by time in San Francisco:

  • 2 a.m. – 6 a.m. – 9
  • 6 a.m. – 1 a.m. – 55
  • 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. – 86
  • 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. – 146
  • 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. – 92
  • 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. – 26

Unfortunately, the data shows that an overwhelming number of accidents occur during the rush hour period between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

San Francisco has implemented a Vision Zero Goal to help reduce the number of automobile/bicycling injuries and fatalities. Some of the initiatives include making certain areas car-free paths. However, nothing will change until drivers become more aware of cyclists and quit becoming distracted by cell phones and other obstructions while driving.

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