For many New York residents, bicycles are a preferred method of getting around. Others use their bicycles to earn or supplement their income. However, there is no doubt as to the danger bicyclists face on the busy streets of New York City. Despite attempts on the part of legislators and the mayor to improve bicycle safety, 2019 has had a rise in bicycle-auto accidents that is sparking concerns and calls for action. When there is a bicycle accident, people who have been hurt or lost a loved one may need to consider their options for filing a claim for compensation.
Those who ride bicycles regularly in New York will understand how dangerous the streets can be. Since June, there were eight fatal bicycle accidents. Overall, there have been 19 in 2019. The problem is not limited to New York. Across the nation, there has been an increase in bicycle fatalities. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 840 bicycle deaths in 2016. That is the most in a quarter-century. There have been increases and decreases in New York and it is difficult to know why that is the case.
In 2018, there was a historic reduction, with 10 fatalities. In 2017, there were 24. Researchers are wondering if New York's "Vision Zero" has helped. Vision Zero sets the goal to eliminate all traffic fatalities. There has been a reduction of pedestrian and auto accidents with fatalities. Bicyclists have not seen an improvement even though bicycle lanes are being added regularly. Bike lanes are supposed to separate cars and bicyclists, but many communities are against them. Another factor is that many more people are choosing to ride bicycles. It has multiplied by two from 2012 to 2017. The increase of bicycle availability, bike lanes and traffic enforcement to make the roads safer have been referenced as reasons for a positive outlook. Still, the number of fatalities is worrisome.
Bicyclists are at risk of crush injuries, broken bones, brain trauma, spinal cord damage and death when there is an auto accident. Since they are so vulnerable, there is a major chance they will have a long hospital stay, miss time at work and need extended treatment and help. A personal injury lawsuit may be an option.