Modified: January 6, 2023

The Sad Truth as to Why San Jose Is Not Safe for Bicyclists

San Jose Unsafe for Cyclists: People Are Dying on San Jose’s Roads

Did you know that San Jose is at the top of the list of most bicycle crashes, deaths, and injuries among cities in Silicon Valley? This is according to a study conducted that collected four years of crash data from the California Highway Patrol. This is a tragedy!

Bicycle Crash Statistics

If you’re a cyclist, San Jose and Palo Alto are not places you want to be in.

According to research, when it comes to bicycle safety, San Jose has had 2,803 bicycle accidents in the last 10 years. This has resulted in 2,752 injuries and 38 deaths. In this study, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties make up Silicon Valley.

Coming in second in Palo Alto, with 787 bicycle crashes which have resulted in 795 injuries and three deaths. This study collected this bicycle crash data from 14,718 accidents that took place between 2011- 2021.

Bicycle safety is a pressing issue, according to the executive director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Shiloh Ballard, and quicker procedures are needed to implement infrastructure improvements. Unfortunately, building bike lanes can currently take several years.

Shiloh Ballard emphasized the urgency of the situation by saying that San Jose experiences approximately 20 bicycle accidents on a daily basis. The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition wants to put a stop to this!

It’s clear that people are dying and that this has to stop!

The Streets of San Jose, Santa Clara County

San Jose’s streets have been unsafe for a really long time. In fact, in 2021 alone, there were 60 traffic-related fatalities. Worse yet, this record was surpassed in 2022, with 64 fatalities.

What Is the City Doing to Change This?

In an attempt to try and make the city safer in 2015, San Jose implemented the Vision Zero initiative.

According to the San Jose Spotlight, in March 2022, the city also announced a $6 million effort to adopt certain safety measures. This consisted of adding dedicated bike lanes, pedestrian barriers, and better lighting and signs.

Vision Zero, on the other hand, has the goal of reducing the number of traffic injuries and fatalities via data collection projects and infrastructure projects.

A spokesperson from the city’s transportation department, Colin Heyne, said that San Jose alone has experienced eight cyclist deaths in 2022.

While this number is on par with 2021’s figures, cyclist deaths as well as other traffic fatalities have been increasing.

Heyne told the San Jose Spotlight that pedestrians and cyclists are the most vulnerable road users and that they are used to determine how safe the streets are.

Why Is San Jose Unsafe for Cyclists and Pedestrians?

Colin Heyne continued to say that reason for the high crash numbers is a number of factors. A few of these reasons are:

  • Busy downtown San Jose
  • A large population
  • The number of workers and students on the streets near San Jose State University

A report reveals downtown San Jose and the areas surrounding San Hose State University as the second most dangerous area for bicyclists.

In fact, the only area to top these two locations is Palo Alto’s Downtown North.

Many of the incidents take place at the intersection between Reed and South Sixth street. However, other areas in San Jose that experience a high volume of accidents include Tully and Senter roads.

What Is the San Jose 2025 Better Bike Plan?

The 2025 Better Bike Plan strives to make the roads safer and more accessible to cyclists by increasing bike lanes, bike parking, and sharing services.

Furthermore, Santa Clara County is trying to construct a bicycle superhighway in order to create a safer way for bicyclists to travel.

Heyne also told the San Jose Spotlight that in order for this plan to work, they need to have great infrastructure projects that are connected to one another. One by itself is not going to accomplish much.

In order to address bicycle safety adequately, there needs to be a shift in the way people use the roads. Drivers need to pay more attention to pedestrians and cyclists alike to put them out of harm’s way.

While there are many accidents that take place because of roadway use and roadway design, a large number is due to the psychology and behavior of drivers who believe that they have done nothing wrong if they did not see the bicycle.

The fact of the matter is, they should’ve seen the bicycle!

What Rights Do Cyclists Have on the Roads?

Cyclists are often the victims of accidents because of car drivers’ negligence. Drivers often believe they always have the right-of-way, which is not true.

In fact, cyclists and drivers share the same rights and privileges on the road.

As a result, drivers must give you the right of way and follow the same safety rules as they would for any other driver. If a driver has not done this, you, as a cyclist, have the right to sue the negligent party for damages.

You can do this with the help of an experienced and compassionate San Jose bicycle accident attorney.

What Are the Common Bicycle Accident Injuries?

Bicycles offer little protection in the event of an accident, much like motorcycles.

Even at the slowest speeds, accidents can cause serious fractures, burns, brain and spinal cord damage, amputations, and more. 

Recovering from these accidents usually takes months or even years.

Have You Been Involved in a San Jose Bicycle Accident?

Have you or a loved one recently been involved in a bicycle accident in San Jose? Whether the crash took place near the San Jose State University or downtown Palo Alto, you have the right to seek compensation!

The knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers at Ehline Law Firm have been helping bicycle accident victims for years! We are dedicated to improved bike safety and want to ensure that all of California’s roads are safe for vulnerable users.

Contact us at 833 LETS-SUE for a free consultation regarding your bicycle injuries.

Top Notch American Injury Lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.

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