There’s no question that bicycling in New York City is on the rise. According to a DOT cycling report, cyclists make as many as 490,000 cycling trips in the city on a single day. In the last five years, dedicated bicycle lanes have increased by more than 330 miles, inviting New Yorkers to take advantage of the ease and speed of travel that bicycles offer.
But the rise in bicycle ease and popularity also brings with it increased dangers. When cyclists share busy urban streets with large commercial trucks or buses, accidents are bound to happen. And in those cases, it’s usually the cyclist who pays the price.
Last year, 4,304 bicyclists were injured in crashes with motor vehicles in the 5 boroughs, with 10 fatalities.
In 2019, that death rate has nearly doubled. This summer, eight people have lost their lives while riding bicycles in New York, bringing the bicycle death total for 2019 to 19.
The most recent deaths occurred when commercial trucks failed or were unable to yield to cyclists. In July alone, bicycle/truck accidents claimed the lives of three cyclists in Brooklyn and one in Staten Island. And in the last five years, the corner of West 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue in Chelsea has seen 21 accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles.
When a cement truck ran down a 28-year-old cyclist earlier this year in Brooklyn, the truck’s owner blamed the tragedy on “too many bikes on the road.”
While the city is making efforts to install more bike lanes and improve traffic patterns, it is becoming more and more clear that drivers need to also be more understanding of the need to share the road.
As one city urban planner told the NY Post, “The city is doing what it can, but we need to do a better job of training drivers, especially truck drivers, on how to look out for cyclists here and across the city.”
If you enjoy bicycling in the city, whether you are biking for work or biking for pleasure, please cycle safely. And if you or a loved one are injured while bicycling in New York and you need assistance, please call us. Our dedicated team of experienced bicycle injury lawyers will do everything that they can to help.