Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

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bicycle accident location 5 people died in bicycle accidents in New York City over the last 4 weeks.  The most recent accident occurred two days ago in Brooklyn. A 47-year-old man was riding his bike on Rochester Avenue when he was hit by a SUV at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue. The driver of the SUV was a 19-year-old woman. She wasn’t charged.

According to  Brad Aaron from NYC Streetblog, the police officer on the scene blamed the victim and told the media that the bicyclist ran a red light. However according to Brad Aaron, the investigation is ongoing and the officer’s statement was probably negative speculation. Unfortunately NYPD officers present at the scene of bicycle accidents have a bad habit of blaming the victims and to protect the drivers (see also previous blog).

Atlantic Avenue is a very dangerous artery and the DOT is planning to redesign the avenue. However the DOT has no no plans to change this particular intersection. Maybe they will change their mind after this accident.

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11 people died in auto accidents in New York City last May compared to 20 in April and 18 for the same month a year ago. This is a the lowest number of traffic deaths recorded since March 2016 where the number was also 11. This record low number of auto accident deaths occurred despite traffic accidents reaching 20,689 during the same month. This is the highest number of monthly motor vehicle accidents ever recorded in the city. The month before there were 17,585 motor vehicle accidents and 19,911 in May last year.

Traffic accidents in the city have been on a rising trend.  However it is only the second time that this number is above 20,000. Before that, the monthly number of accidents only went above 20,000 once in October 2015. (Click on graphs for full size)

Auto Accidents NYC Monthly Graph
While the number of traffic accidents has been increasing steadily, the number of deaths related to theses accidents have been declining over the last 4 years. This decline may be explained by the various street safety initiatives that have been launched under the umbrella of the Vision Zero Program to reduce traffic deaths in the city.

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9 cyclists died in bicycle accidents in New York City during the first 6 months of 2017 according to recent articles by Aidan Gardiner in DNA Info. During the same period of time last year 12 bicyclists died in New York City and respectively 5, 10 and 7 in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Indeed despite the launch of Vision Zero  in 2014 and after a drop in 2015, the number of bicycle accident fatalities was higher most of the time  than what it was in 2013 before Vision Zero was launched.  The main reason why the number of  cyclists fatalities remain high is because the number of people using bikes in New York City has been exploding over the last few years. According to data from the NYC DOT (see graph below), the number of people commuting to their work by bike has grown by 80% between 2010 and 2015, faster than in any American city.

bicycling statistics NYC
A better way to find out if the streets are safer for New York City bicyclists is to compare the ratio of cyclists deaths to the number of commuters for example. In 2013 this ratio was 10/37589 = 0.026%, in 2014 it was 5/41,789=0.011% and in 2015 10/44,976=0.022%. This ratio indicates that streets were safer in 2014 and 2015 than they were in 2013. However the ratio also showed that when Vision Zero was launched in 2014  street safety for bicyclists increased significantly but then dissipated after the launch. The data shows that street safety for bicyclists must be an everyday focus at all levels of the Vision Zero program.

The NYC DOT also calculates the New York City Cycling Risk. This indicator compares the Bicyclists Severe Injuries and Fatalities (KSI) to the estimated million cycling trips taken in New York City every year. According to the most recent report of the DOT, the bicycling risk has been constantly decreasing since 2000 and was at its lowest in 2014 (see graph below).

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A bicyclist was severely injured by a reckless driver who was chased by the police. The driver identified as 28 year old Raheem Addison had 25 license suspensions in 12 different states and 21 prior arrests. He had been partying for hours at a pride event before getting behind the wheel of a car parked in a Midtown garage. As he left the garage he almost hit a family. Someone alerted the police. When the police arrived near the garage, they saw the man parked outside the garage, in the driver’s seat. When he saw them, the young driver took off. The police started to chase him in the middle of one of the most populated areas of Midtown Manhattan. The driver, who was intoxicated, crossed the double line on 34th street before making a left turn and enter 7th Ave in the wrong direction. He hit a 32 year old bicyclist, severely injuring him and continued his erratic driving almost hitting other pedestrians who had to jump out of the way of the car to avoid him. The driver drove the wrong way for two blocks, turned on 26th street and shortly later abandoned the car running away on foot. Police eventually found him and he was taken into custody. The owner of the car who was seated next to him as a passenger during the entire chase was released without charges. The bicyclist who was ejected across the street at the time of the accident was transported to the hospital with critical injuries. He is now in serious but stable condition.

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Mamoukakis was a bicyclist fatally struck by a bus in NYC A few days after Citi Bike rider Dan Hanegby was fatally struck by a bus, another cyclist died after being hit by a charter bus just a few blocks away. 80 year old Michael Mamoukakis was riding his bicycle on 7th Ave near 29th Street when he was hit by a charter bus who was making a right turn on 29th Street. The accident occurred Saturday around 1:30 pm.  The bus driver stayed at the scene of the accident. The bus driver told the Post that she didn’t see the bicyclist. She heard a a dull heavy sound and immediately after people in the street started to scream to stop the bus, which she did. The bus is registered to Buckeye Limousine and Charters Corporation of Ohio. Witnesses said they saw the bus driving over the man. He screamed and then became unconscious. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. New York City Council Member Corey Johnson expressed his anger in a statement and asked for an emergency meeting of the NYC DOT, the NYPD, Members of the government, the Community Board 4 and representatives of the charter buses operating in Chelsea.

Read more in the New York Times,
Picture: Facebook

 

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Dan Hanegby died in a NYC bicycle accicdentA bicyclists died after colliding with a bus in New York Monday morning. 36 year old Dan Hanegby, a financial executive at Credit Suisse was riding a Citi Bike on West 26th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. He was riding between the parked cars and a charter bus when the collision occurred. The man fell to the ground and was run over by the rear wheels of the bus.

The accident happened around 8:15 am on Monday. Hanegby was wearing a suit and was most probably on his way to work. The young man was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He died shortly after his arrival to the hospital.  The bus driver stayed at the scene of the accident. He wasn’t charged.

Hanegby grew up in Israel and served in the Israel Defense force. He was also an avid tennis player according to his social media profile.

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11 pedestrians and 1 bicyclist died in auto accidents in New York City last March. In March 2013, before the Zero Vision campaign was launched 11 pedestrians and 1 bicyclist were also killed in traffic accidents in the city.  After a promising start in 2014, the Vision Zero program seems to have lost some of its effectiveness.

After declining to 15,553 last February, the lowest level over 4 years, the number of motor vehicle accidents in New York City jumped back to 19,055 in March 2017.

Traffic accidents are continuing to increase steadily in the city as do the number of injuries related to these accidents. However despite a rising trend, the number of  auto accident injuries in March 2017 was slightly  lower than in March 2016 but higher than in March 2015, 2014 and 2013 (see graph below).

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dangerous-NYC-bike-laneNYC Bicyclist advocates are warning that a fatal bike accident may occur if nothing is done to address safety on the Kent Ave bike lane in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC. The lane is constantly clogged with cars and construction vehicles forcing bicyclists to dangerously veer back and fourth into traffic. A recent video (click on the picture to access video) on Twitter by Transportation Alternative Advocate Maximillian Sholl shows traffic of trucks and cars casually driving on the protected bike lane forcing cyclists to ride on the sidewalk.

Out of the 319 complaints about blocked bike lanes that have been reported to the 311 number since last November when this service was created, 19 were related to clogging on the Kent Ave protected bike lane.

This dangerous situation comes from high traffic activity generated by dozens of waterfront construction sites. According to bicyclists some of the construction sites are very respectful of bicyclist safety while others don’t really care. Fore example the Domino Factory construction site has workers sweeping the bike lane regularly and workers are flagging the traffic to give bicyclists the right of way. Things are different with the 420 Kent Ave construction site. The bike lane in front of the construction site is often obstructed by trucks. Workers who are supposed to flag traffic don’t do it and sometimes curse at bicyclists.

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NYC DOT proposal for bike lanes on Fourth Ave BKIn an effort to protect Brooklyn bicycle commuters from dangerous accidents, the DOT recently proposed to add a protected bike lane to Fourth Avenue. The bike lane would allow bicyclists to safely commute between Bay Ridge, Sunset Park and Park Slope. The DOT  presented the proposal after a first redesign of the Avenue five years ago led to a decrease of 61% in pedestrian injuries. The DOT believes that the addition of protected bike lanes may reduce bicycle injuries in a similar manner. Based on previous NYC statistics the addition of bike lanes usually results in a 20% decrease in all road users injuries including a 22% decrease in pedestrian injuries and 25% decline in motor vehicle occupant injuries.

If accepted the DOT proposal would lead to the creation of a 4.6 mile protected bike lane that would be the biggest one in New York City.  According to the DOT, the addition of the protected bike lane would be a life changer for many bicyclists who are commuting daily in Brooklyn. Because Fourth Avenue stays a busy Avenue despite the previous road diet, many bicyclists are still afraid to use it.

The first road diet implemented in 2012 consisted of the removal of one lane in each direction and the addition of additional space for pedestrian crossings in the middle of the Avenue. The new DOT proposal includes the addition of one bike lane on each side of the road protected from traffic by parked cars. Additionally concrete pedestrian islands would be installed at all four corners at intersections.

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Protected bike lanes have proven to be one of the most efficient street designs to prevent bicycle accidents in New York City. Yesterday the Department Of Transportation (DOT) announced that it was planning to add such a bike lane on 7th Avenue from 30th Street to Charlotte Street, in downtown Manhattan. The project was partially presented last night to the Community Board 4.

Despite having several safer options to ride safely North or South in Chelsea and in the West Village, a significant number of bicyclists are still riding on 7th Avenue.  In a 14-hour period, the DOT counted 2,350 people biking at the intersection of 20th street and 7th Avenue. The traffic is usually fluid on the downtown segment of the avenue and speeding is common, increasing the risk of serious or fatal crashes.

If the project is accepted, the number of  traffic lanes will be reduced from 4 to 3 and a protected bike lane will be added.  The DOT believes that the project will reduce speeding and increase bicyclists safety. Pedestrian safety will be improved as well as crossing distances being shortened.