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New York City Bicycle Accident

Photo of Harlan Thompson

It has taken a long time for New York to take bicycles seriously as a means of transportation. The general attitude has long been that the streets and byways throughout the city and the state are the province of automobiles. Many people even take objection to the growing numbers of bicycle lanes on the streets. These are almost always blocked with parked cars, stored objects or trash.

Many see bicycles as adult toys and view riders as fun-seekers without serious purpose.

A recent study of New York City bicycle crash related factors reflects the attitudes of the analysts in reporting numbers. They cite causes of bicycle accident fatalities as follows:

Disregarding traffic controls was the most frequently documented(38%), followed by bicyclist inattention (20%), failure to yield right of way (9%), and traveling the wrong way on a street (8%). Emerging from behind parked vehicles, unsafe lane changing, and passing or improper lane usage accounted for 6% of bicyclist contributing factors."

All of these attributions are the cyclist's own fault.
The New York Daily news recently reported:

About 500 pedestrians wind up hospitalized each year after accidents with cyclists, a recent study showed. At the same time, New York continues plans to install 1,800 bike lane miles by 2030.

The news report implies that the city's bike lane plan is a negative development and bicycle use should be reduced rather than increased in NYC.

Many regard non-recreational use of the bicycle as a way of reducing traffic congestion and pollution, important for the environment of the city. Therefore, attribution of fault in accidents is an important legal matter. When sympathetic reviewers look at the bicycle accident data they find the following major causes of injury:

Left Turn Accident: The driver of the car makes a left turn in front of the cyclist.

Gap Turn Bike Accident: The driver of an on-coming vehicle suddenly makes a turn through an opening in backed-up stopped traffic and the cyclist is travelling in the opposite direction next to the curb and passing the backed-up line of cars.

Right Turn Bike Accident: When a motor vehicle travels parallel to the cyclist, accelerates, passes and then makes an unexpected right turn without signaling.

Side Swipe Bike Accident: When the width of the vehicle is dangerously extended. This increases the chance of hitting a bicyclist who is lawfully riding along the right side of the road. This situation usually results in severe injuries or death.

Doored by Car: When a door is flung open on the driver's or passenger side of a car and a rider is coming either from back or front.

Rear End Collision: When a cyclist moves into the roadway to make his or her left-hand turn. Simultaneously, a motorist comes up quickly from behind and 'rear-end' the cyclist.

Please contact the New York City Bicycle Accident Attorneys at Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson with your opinions.

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