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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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simon-cowell-twitterA few days ago, Simon Cowell broke his back in a self inflicted e-bike accident. He broke his back in several places and had to undergo a 6-hour long surgery.  “If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time,” he tweeted on Sunday night.  Electrical bicycles are becoming more and more popular but how safe are they?  In New York, e-bike and scooters were legalized last March as the coronavirus pandemic hit the city and people were reluctant to use public transportation.

Less expensive than a car and allowing to travel longer distance than a bike, electrical bicycles have become an attractive alternative to public transportation especially during the pandemic. While e-biking is quite a new thing for New Yorkers, it has been a popular mode of transportation in Switzerland for more than 15 years. In 2013, Doctors at the University Department of Emergency Medicine in Bern, the capital of Switzerland published a detailed study on e-bike injuries based on patients admitted at the ER between April 2012 and September 2013. They found that most patients were male with a mean age of 47.5 year old and that most injuries were caused by self inflicted accident. Head and neck injuries were the most common. Among the patients studied, 9 were treated as outpatients, 9 had to be hospitalized, 5 had to be kept in Intensive care unit and 6 had to undergo surgery.

While data about e-bike injury in New York are still limited, a recent study authored by several New York surgeons found that in case of an accident, e-bike users were more likely to suffer internal injuries and more likely to be hospitalized than regular bicycle users. E-bikes were found to be less dangerous than scooters whose users have a higher risk of concussion in case of an accident. The study also found that e-bike injuries were more than three times more likely to involve a pedestrian than regular bicycle injuries or scooter injuries. Another finding was that the risk of injury was particularly high for older people.

 

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Revel-scaledA man was killed in a Revel moped accident in New York yesterday. The 32 year old man identified by the police as Jeremy Malave was riding  the rented Revel north on Woodhaven Boulevard, Queens, when he lost control of the moped and struck a light pole near 67th Drive. The accident occurred around 3:15 am. EMS found Malave lying on the ground with a massive head injury. He was rushed to the hospital but he didn’t survive. The helmet was found on the ground nearby but it was not clear if Malave was wearing it at the time of the accident. (read more in the NY Daily News)

26 year old Revel passenger killed after driver lost control of the scooter

On Saturday July 18th, CBS 2 NY reporter Nina Kapur also died in a Revel accident. 26 year old Kapur was riding a Revel moped as a passenger in Brooklyn when the driver of the scooter suddenly swerved throwing Kapur onto the roadway.  The young woman suferd critical injuries and was rushed to the hospital where she later died. The driver of the Revel, a 26 year old man, suffered minor injuries. According to a witness, neither of them were wearing a helmet. (read more in the Daily News)

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29 people including 4 cyclists and 9 pedestrians died in crashes in New York City last June. While truck and bus accidents remain lower than usual, reckless car driving and speeding continue to be a cause of many injuries and deaths.

After dipping to a record low of 5 deaths during the Covid-19 lock-down, traffic fatalities peaked to 29 in June. Since Vision Zero started in 2014, this is a record high number of fatalities that was only reached once previously in June 2016. Injuries were on the rise too in June compared to the previous months of May and April but not as dramatically as the fatalities.  The total number of accidents increased as well. One of the main reasons why the total number of accidents dipped so dramatically is because since last March the NYPD doesn’t dispatch officers anymore at the scene of minor accidents. As a result the big drop observed since March is not only related to the Covid-19 crisis but also to the the fact there are no more NYPD reports for minor accidents.

Auto Accident NYC Injuries Deaths June 2020
New York traffic accident fatalities were on the rise for all categories of road users. 11 motorists, 5 passengers, 4 cyclists and 9 pedestrians died last June compared to respectively 7, 0, 2 and 2 during the previous month and 6, 3, 3, 8 in June 2019. Many of these fatalities are related to speed and reckless driving. While the city has slowly started to get back to normal, the traffic is not as heavy as it used to be before the coronavirus crisis and many motorists are driving over the speed limit.

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New York CyclistsAfter a high number of deadly pedestrian and bicycle accidents in New York City, especially in Brooklyn, last year, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales decided it was time to do something about it. The DA just announced that he has created a new unit that will be dedicated to investigate any fatal motor vehicle accident occurring in Brooklyn. Now anytime a motor vehicle accident involves a fatality not only the NYPD investigation squad will  investigate the accident (if they show up ) but also a prosecutor from the DA’s office will rush to the scene of the accident. The prosecutor will run his or her own investigation speaking to witnesses, collecting evidence, documenting and drafting warrants to collect evidence.This measure will hopefully bring more justice to the victims of reckless drivers who are too often being let go by the police with no charges.

Botched police investigations and poor follow up on deadly traffic accidents are common in New York City

In most accidents, including those in which people are killed, drivers are usually getting a free pass except if they were driving under the influence or if they committed an extremely reckless act.  With the new DA unit it will not be the case anymore in Brooklyn, not only drivers will be held accountable with detailed investigations but the unit will also work with lawmakers to pass new laws against reckless driving.

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twitter cyclist injuredA cyclist was injured  in Manhattan, NYC, last weekend after he hit a wooden platform erected in a bike lane by a rest. Alex Sirken was riding his bike on Seventh Ave South when he hit a wooden platform left on the bike lane by Ofrenda, a Mexican restaurant in the East Village.

While the DOT  has been allowing restaurants to temporary set up tables for outdoor dining mostly in parking spaces in the streets of New York City, the guidelines are clear and do not allow restaurants to install seating areas on “No Stopping Anytime or No Standing Anytime zone, bike lane, bus lane/stop, taxi stand, or car share space”.

Ofrenda was not the only offender, other restaurants such as El Camino Cantina in the East Village were also reported blocking the bike lane with tables.

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ribbonbridgeAs New York City is experiencing a continuous increase in people using a bike to go to work, preventing bicycle accidents and making sure cyclists can commute safely between boroughs is key.

Now that the city is re-opening, bicycle and pedestrian traffic is expected to be larger than ever on all four East River bridges linking Queens and Brooklyn to Manhattan. The bridges are already so busy and crowded that it makes it difficult to respect social distancing.

In response to this concern, a team of transportation engineers led by Samuel “Gridlock Sam” Schwartz, is proposing to create light bridge structures that would be dedicated to pedestrians and bicyclists only. While this idea might seem too visionary for some, many world capitals such as Paris, London, Amsterdam or Singapore have already adopted the concept.

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New York CyclistsStreet advocates are predicting an increase in bicycle accidents in New York City as many New Yorkers , including many newbies, are opting to use a bike to commute in the city rather than risking getting infected by the coronavirus in the New York subway. The mayor listened to them and  recently announced that the DOT would double the number of temporary protected bike lanes available for cyclists to commute around the city. Nine more miles of temporary protected bike lanes will be added to the other 9 miles  already installed last month as part of the “Open Street” initiative.

Additionally another 13 miles of open streets will be added in areas that are heavily affected by the virus.

The additional temporary protected bike lanes will be installed in Queens and in Manhattan

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Bronx bicycle accidents second week of June 20202 people were killed and 20 of them were injured in bicycle accidents in the Bronx, NYC, during the second week of June. Bicycle accident injuries in the Bronx increased by 81.8 % during the week of June 8 to June 14 according to NYPD statistics.  The Bronx is the only NYC borough where bicycle accident injuries increased during this week. In all other NYC boroughs, bicycle accident injuries declined. On average, injuries related to bike crashes were down 30.7% citywide. The largest decline, 59.1%, was observed in the North part of Queens, followed by a decline of 50% of bicycle accident injuries in the South part of Brooklyn, a 45% decline in the North part of Brooklyn, a decrease of 33.3% in the South part of Manhattan, a decrease of  29.4% in the North part of Manhattan, a 16.7% decline in the South of Queens and  a status quo in Staten Island.

The Bronx is the borough that has the less investment by the city in infrastructures to protect bicyclists despite a large part of the population using bikes on a daily basis, including many delivery cyclists

While the city has been creating protected bike lanes all over rich white neighborhoods, the poor  area of the Bronx didn’t get any of these. Even last month when de Blasio announced more streets closed to traffic and a extra 9.2 miles of protected bike lanes, none of them were in the Bronx.

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Location of the MTA bus accidentA 19 year old female bicyclist was killed in a MTA bus accident yesterday.  The young woman was struck by the BmX10 bus on Fifth Avenue at the corner of the 59th Street intersection.

It is still not exactly clear how the accident occurred. A hot dog vendor who witnessed the accident told the NY Daily News that it seemed that the young woman was trying to merge into traffic from 60th street and that she was struck by the bus and then dragged under the wheels for about half a block until the bus driver stopped.

The cyclist died at the scene of the accident from severe head trauma. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident. Despite its proximity to Central Park, Fifth Avenue doesn’t have a bike lane in the Upper East Side area, therefore the many cyclists coming out of the Park at this location have to navigate between the buses and the car traffic which can be very dangerous on this busy avenue.

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9 motorists and one passenger died in traffic accidents and one cyclist was fatally sideswiped by a speeding bus. No pedestrian deaths were reported during the entire month. NYC car accident fatalities caused by speed and recklessness increased significantly in April during the lock-down. motorist deaths April 2020 NYC

Globally, the number of traffic accidents recorded by the NYPD in April dropped to 4,037 in April 2020 compared to 10,877 in March and 16,6332 in April 2019 as New York Streets stayed mostly empty because of the Covid-19 lock-down order. The number of reported accidents was approximately 4 times lower than what it was during the same month a year earlier when the city was not affected by the pandemic.

Traffic Accidents NYC April 2020
NYC Auto Accident injuries were also at their lowest with 1,287 people injured in April compared to 3,099 in March and 4,701 in April 2019. Drivers and passengers were the categories with most people injured.