New York City is a unique region of the United States, primarily because of the local population that consists of over 8.6 million people! With congested population also comes congested streets and highways. Because of this, bicycles are a very common and popular mode of transportation in New York City.
However, with ever-increasing popularity, problems arise when bikes are traveling on the same roads and paths that automobiles use, often resulting in bicycle collisions. While 2017 crashes in New York City were up significantly, 2018 experienced a reduction after focus was directed at the previous year.
However, cyclist deaths are startlingly high this year. While there were 10 total cyclist fatalities in 2018, there have already been 22 cyclist deaths in NYC as of September 2019. These deaths have occurred for a variety of reasons, including poor road maintenance, distracted driving, and speeding. The issue is surely intensifying, and bicycle advocacy groups are urging city management to make some changes.
Negligence in Bike Crashes
Comparative negligence is an issue in any highway accident or personal injury situation, including bicycle crashes with other vehicles. In many instances, the motorist involved in the crash is deemed liable, however, there may be situations where unsafe road conditions or street defects (uneven pavement, uphill bike lanes, potholes, etc.) could have contributed to the collision at hand. As this is a leading cause of bicycle crashes across NYC, city management could take steps to improve road conditions as well as adding more bicycle lanes for riders in many more areas of the city.
In addition, even though bicyclists are not required to carry insurance of any type, New York bicyclists who also have an automobile could carry protection via uninsured or under-insured motorist protection on their personal auto policy which could help injury victims receive compensation.
This is a relatively new type of coverage in the U.S., and this may be a measure the city could at least encourage for all bicycle enthusiasts. The pure comparative negligence model used in New York state could make this possible and help ensure that injured cyclists can recover compensation if, for example, they are victims of a hit-and-run collision.
Focus on Bicycle Safety Awareness
In New York City, there is no indication that bicycle use will be reduced at any time in the near future. In fact, bike popularity is on the rise and will more than likely continue all across the Big Apple. Being aware of what dangers lie ahead is important for everyone on the highway because bicycle operators have practically no protection other than the small amount of safety equipment available to them.
Injuries and crashes can happen on New York City streets and highways without a moment's notice in certain locations. Expanding education programs on bicycle awareness is another method of keeping bike safety front and center as the year goes on.
The most effective strategy for a reduction in the number of bicycle crashes is keeping everyone on the road mindful that bikes are around just about everywhere, and there are no sound indicators for any of them. All New York bike lawyers understand that constant observation while driving or riding is the best deterrent for motorists and bikers alike.
If you or a loved one is injured in a bicycle crash in New York City, do not hesitate to contact the New York bike lawyers at Flanzig & Flanzig, LLP for help seeking compensation for your injuries. As avid bicycle riders ourselves, our attorneys understand the dangers bicyclists face on a daily basis and how a bicycle crash can impact your life. We are committed to helping these individuals obtain the compensation they need to get back on their feet.
Contact the New York Bike Lawyers at (866) 352-6944 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.