On December 14, 2013, I saw a cyclist airlifted from the Rock Springs parking lot on Mount Tam. I don’t know the cyclist and have no information about his or her injuries or how the accident happened. As I watched the helicopter lift off, it struck me there is little that protects us on our light bikes except our own knowledge and awareness.
I’m starting this blog with the hope that more knowledge will make the roads safer for us.
Useful information about local cycling accidents is hard to come by. I’ve started my search with the local fire and police departments.
1. The Marin County Sheriff’s Office points anyone seeking incident response statistics to https://www.crimereports.com. This site is great for information about crime in your neighborhood but has nothing about cycling incidents.
2. The Marin County Fire Department does keeps track of cycling related accidents, however, since the Fire Department administers medical care they are subject to HIPAA privacy restrictions that limit public disclosure. Therefore, their data is mostly protected. I corresponded with Mike Giannini, EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Battalion Chief for Marin County Fire who was able to give me the following statistics:
1. The numbers below reflect the total number of incidents per year where a cyclist required trauma center care and the incident occurred in Southern Marin, the Ross Valley and unincorporated parts of the County, not including San Rafael or Novato.
- 2010: 120
- 2011: 242
- 2012: 239
2. For any type of cycling accident, not just those that went to a trauma center, between 2/26/13- 1/13/14, the number for all of Marin County is 384. That represents 10.47% of all incidents responded to by the EMS system.
What do these initial, very general, numbers tell us? They confirm what every active cyclist knows – there are a lot of cycling accidents in Marin. In 2012, there were 20 serious accidents and at least 12 other less serious – each month.
This is the equivalent of one accident a day.
More to come…..