California had more bicycle accident fatalities than any other state from 2010 to 2012. Worse, perhaps, is the fact that the number of deaths rose by 23 percent during that period, while national totals increased just 16 percent. California also outpaces the nation when it comes to how many traffic deaths involve bikers: Nationwide, 2 percent of all traffic deaths are cyclists, but in California it was 4 percent.
A couple of things contribute to our poor record, according to a report published recently by the Governors Highway Association. California is home to a lot of people, and the state boasts several densely populated urban areas. We have a lot of bike commuters, but heavy traffic on city streets makes sharing the road all the more challenging for both bicycles and motor vehicles.