Preventing Cycling Accidents in New York City

In 2019, more cyclists were killed in New York City than in any year since 2000. Gothamist posted a tribute to the 29 cyclists, and revealed only six drivers were charged for causing fatal accidents, while 21 drivers were not. They range from teenagers to bike messengers to a pediatrician.

Cycling accidents continue to be a major problem in NYC, despite attempts to make a safer environment. In 2014, the city embarked on an ambitious plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries by 2024 called Vision Zero. The plan was based on a similar program put forward in Sweden that adopts the philosophy that pedestrian deaths are not as many “accidents” as they are a failure of street design. Since the adoption of Vision Zero, NYC has increased the miles of bicycle lanes by a quarter from 911 to 1,243. On a typical day there are nearly half a million cycling trips completed in NYC.

If you are a cyclist, you should ride defensively, constantly look for cars, pedestrians, and other cyclists that may present hazards and cause collisions. You should also wear a helmet, to protect you against traumatic brain injury or concussion. Some of the other things you can do to reduce your likelihood of being involved in a cycling accident include:

  • Avoid the door zone: Look for opening car doors and ride far enough to the left of parked vehicles so that you won’t run into any door that opens unexpectedly.
  • Ride in the same direction as car traffic: Be a predictable cyclist. One study showed that riding the wrong way was three times as dangerous as riding the right way, and for kids, the risk is seven times greater.
  • Be visible:  What you wear should be a consideration. Yellow or orange vests and clothing make you visible. Also, use a headlight and rear light.
  • Plan your route: Check out NYC’s Green Wave Bike Safety Plan for information on planning your route. Keep in mind that around 60% of fatalities happen at intersections and 90% of fatalities happen on streets without bike lanes.

What to do Following a Cycling Accident in NYC 

If you are hurt or a loved one was involved in a bicycle accident in NYC, contact Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C. for a consultation and review of your legal rights after a bicycle accident in New York. We are here to help 7 days a week, and video or phone consultations are always available.