Bicycles are a healthy form of transportation. Using a bike can keep a rider in good physical shape. Since bikes leave no carbon imprint, they are good for the environment. Unfortunately, as statistics bear out, riding a bike in California can also be dangerous.

recent study revealed that between the years 2010 and 2012, 338 people lost their lives while riding bikes in the Golden State. The report also found that the year 2010 accounted for 100 of those deaths, while the year 2012 saw 123 fatalities. This means bicycle fatalities have been on a steady increase.

But why are these fatality numbers trending upward? The Governors Highway Safety Association is attributing this rise partially to the increased popularity of commuting by bicycle. Information contained in the 2013 Census Bureau report indicates that since the year 2000, the U.S. has experienced a 62 percent jump in bicycle commuters.

These numbers represent a double-edged sword regarding the growth of cycling’s popularity. It is great that more and more people are seeking the personal and environmental advantages that bikes offer. But the increased number of bicyclists on the road has led to a hike in the number of fatalities.

Bicyclists are truly vulnerable when sharing the roads with automobile traffic. Drivers must take care to give those on bikes plenty of space to proceed safely. The impact from a motor vehicle could leave a bicyclist with broken bones or catastrophic injuries to the brain and spine. And as the statistics demonstrate, the results could even be fatal.

If you are involved in a bicycle-automobile accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation to help cover your medical expenses. An attorney who handles cases involving motor vehicle accidents could perform an investigation and possibly determine liability.