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NYC Bicyclist Fatalities Climbing as Other Traffic Deaths Decline

By Dansker & Aspromonte

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July 20, 2024

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The 2017 Vision Zero report showed a marked decline in traffic fatalities in New York City. Overall traffic deaths dropped by 28% from 2014 to 2017, and pedestrian fatalities declined by a remarkable 45%. However, the news wasn’t all good. While other types of traffic fatalities were reaching record lows, NYC bicycle fatalities surged upward.

In 2017, 24 bike riders were killed by motor vehicles in New York. While that number alone may not sound extreme, it’s a 33.3% increase over the prior year and a 46% increase over the average for the preceding five years. In fact, in 2013—the year before the Vision Zero initiative took effect—there were just 12 bicyclist traffic fatalities.

Bicyclist Injuries and Fatalities in the Five Boroughs

4,397 bicyclists were injured in crashes with motor vehicles in 2017, representing a slight decline compared with 2015 or 2016. However, 2017 cyclist injuries exceeded the 2012-2016 average.

Motor vehicle accidents resulting in injury or death to cyclists in 2017 were largely concentrated in two of the five boroughs, with smaller numbers scattered across the remaining three as follows:

  • Brooklyn: 1,691 injuries and 10 deaths
  • Manhattan: 1,260 injuries and 9 deaths
  • Queens: 913 injuries and 4 deaths
  • Bronx: 451 injuries and 1 death
  • Staten Island: 82 injuries and no deaths

For a free legal consultation, call (212) 732-2929

Making NYC Safer for Bicyclists

In the fourth year of the Vision Zero initiative, officials re-assessed bicycle safety issues and published the Safer Cycling report, setting forth new priorities to make the city safer for cyclists. Though the revised plans include 75 miles of bicycle lanes in areas with the highest rates of bicyclist injuries and fatalities, it’s important to note that infrastructure is only part of the battle.

The leading cause of injury to bicyclists is being hit by cars. While bicycle lanes and other city planning measures can help separate bicyclists from motor vehicles in many areas and make travel safer for cyclists, motorists must do their part.

Liability for Negligent Injury to Bicyclists

When a driver negligently injures or kills a bicyclist, he or she may be liable for damages. Damages may include medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, lost income, property damage, and more.

The experienced personal injury lawyers at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates LLP have a history of recovering damages on behalf of injured cyclists. One example:

  • A $6.3 million jury verdict for a Chinese food deliveryman who was hit by a car in a Brooklyn intersection, sustaining a shattered arm and leg and a brain injury

Under certain circumstances, the city or another property owner may be liable, or may share liability with a driver or cyclist. For example, we have also recovered compensation for:

  • A woman who rode her bicycle into a large pothole created by a ruptured underground sewer main and sustained a skull fracture, fractured jaw, and facial injuries that necessitated multiple surgeries
  • A bicyclist who lost control of his bike when a dumpster tarp blew into his path and was then hit by a truck

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle, or sustained a biking injury because sidewalks or other property was poorly maintained, debris was unreasonably left in the pathway, or due to some other form of negligence, you may be entitled to damages. Contact us for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Featured Image Credit: By Gnarly / Wikimedia

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