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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Despite an increase in bicycle accident fatalities and in motorist injuries the total number of NYC motor vehicle accidents and the total number of resulting injuries and deaths decreased during the third trimester of 2019 compared to the third trimester of 2018. The total number of accidents declined from 57,642 during the third trimester of 2018 to 52,567 during the third trimester of 2019. This is the lowest number of crashes since the same period of 2014.

auto accident NYC third trimester 2019
While a high number of fatal bicycle accidents painted a very negative picture of New York street safety, not all numbers are bad. For example pedestrians fatalities were at their lowest during the period of July, August and September 2019. Motorists fatalities were lower than the two previous years during this same period and passengers fatalities were stable.

traffic fatalities in NYC third trimester
The total number of auto accident related injuries were slightly lower than the previous year. A total of 167,083 people were injured in traffic accidents during over the summer 2019 compared to respectively 16,300, 15,860, 16,048, 13,998, 13,472, and 14,900 during the same 3 months of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Motorists injuries account for almost half of the injuries and continue to increase. While efforts to protect pedestrians has led to a substantial decrease in pedestrian injuries and deaths, distracted driving remains the number one cause of  motor vehicle accidents in New York City and needs to be addressed.

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location of the bicycle and dump truck accidentA 25 year old cyclist was killed by a garbage truck in New York early Sunday morning. Matt Travis is the 28th person to die in a bicycle accident in New York City this year. Matt was riding South on the Willis Ave Bridge bike path when a dump truck made an illegal U-turn to get on the bridge from a service road (technically 1st Avenue, see map) and fatally struck him. The driver then fled the scene of the accident. The police indicated that they are looking for him but they haven’t released any information yet.

Matt was found by the police lying on the street with severe trauma. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Matt Travis was a rising star pro wrestler and a student at the House of Glorty Wrestling School in Queens. He was recently interviewed by Vice magazine about his passion. Friends and fans have been posting tributes to the young man on social media and at the location of the accident.

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Donna Strum was fatally struck by a cyclistOn April 24th, 41 year old Dameon Doward was riding his bike on 57th Street.  He ran a red light at the mid-block traffic signal between Fifth and Sixth Ave and struck Donna Sturm who was crossing the street in the crosswalk after the light turned green for pedestrians. Sturm died two week later from her injuries. Daemon Doward  was initially issued a summons for running the red light. However, he was arrested yesterday by the police and charged with second degree reckless endangerment, a top level misdemeanor that could send him in jail for a year.

Doward was delivering food at the time of the accident. Those who hire bicyclists for deliveries of their products need to provide safety instructions, appropriate supervision and insurance coverage in the event of negligence leading to injuries and deaths.

Our managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz is representing the family of Dona Sturm and the following statement was issued after her death on behalf of the family:  “Donna Sturm was a vibrant, energetic and wonderful woman who died as a result of carelessness and negligence. She died because a bicyclist completely disregarded the law. She was crossing a street, in the crosswalk, with the light in her favor when she was struck. Unfortunately, she suffered horrific head injuries and, although the doctors tried their best over the last week, they were unable to save her life,”

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Bicycle HelmetWearing a helmet can reduce injuries in bicycle accidents however street safety advocates argue that making bicycle helmet use mandatory lead to a reduction of the number of people using bicycles and as an unintended consequence the streets would become less safe for cyclists.

On Wednesday mayor de Blasio told media that by recommending making bike helmet use mandatory in all 50 states, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSFB) was “pushing us in the right direction”

However street safety advocates such as Transportation Alternatives as well as some of the NTSB staff  members argue that mandatory helmets lead to a reduction in the number of people using bikes and lead to the “unintended consequences” of city officials doing less to make cycling safe because they have less pressure.

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Location of the fatal bicycle accidentAn 87 year old cyclist who was struck by a car in New York City last week died from his injuries. While the police blame the accident on the victim saying that he blew a red light, witnesses told the NY Daily News that the bicyclist had the right of way and that the car driver blew a red light.

The accident occurred last Tuesday at the intersection of Avenue P and Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. The cyclist was riding west on Avenue P and was struck by the car as he was in the crosswalk. One of the witness, a female pedestrian, told the News that she was also about to cross the street after the light turned green in favor of the pedestrians when a black minivan zoomed out of nowhere, ran the red light and hit the cyclist. The witness saw the cyclist falling on the top of the car and said there was blood everywhere. The 36-year-old driver stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged. The police maintained he had the green light.

The elderly cyclist was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He died from his injuries a few days later.

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Corey_Johnson_2015To prevent pedestrian and bicycle accidents in New York City, a new bill proposed by Corey Johnson is expected to be approved today by the City Council after Mayor de Blasio gave its approval on a delayed version.  The bill entitled NYC Street Master Plan includes the construction of 250 miles of protected bike lanes, multiple pedestrian safety measures and 150 miles of dedicated bus lanes over a five year period. Mayor de Blasio finally gave his support to the bill but on the condition that it would not start this month but in December 2021 when a new mayor takes over. Corey Johnson is one of the candidates running for NYC mayor in 2021 and if he wins he would be the one in charge of implementing his own plan.

Mayor de Blasio was not in favor of the Street Master Plan when it was proposed at the beginning of the year, arguing that his Vision Zero program was enough to make pedestrians and bicyclists safe in the city. After multiple fatal bicycle accidents occurred during the first half of the year, proving him wrong, de Blasio unveiled a five year plan dubbed the “Green Wave Bicycle Plan”, a diluted version of the “Street Master Plan” in  July.

However after bicycle accident fatalities continued to rise to record numbers in the city over the fall and the summer,  the mayor changed his mind and agreed on a delayed version of the Street Master Plan. Delaying the plan for two years means that  NYC cyclists will continue to face dangerous riding conditions at least for another 2 or 3 years.

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Broad Channel fatal bicycle accident Tweet
65 year old Bogdan Darmetko died in a bicycle accident in New York City on Sunday. Bogdan was riding his bike on Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel around 2:30 pm when he was hit by a 32 year old man driving a 2008 Ford SUV. According to the police report the cyclist who was riding in the unprotected bike lane made a left into the path of the car and was fatally struck by the front of the vehicle. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged. When the EMS arrived they found Bogdan lying on the ground. They rushed him to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. Bogdan Darmetko is the 25th person to die in a NYC bicycle accident this year. He had been riding his bicycle in the city for the last 10 years.

Residents have long complained that speeding is an issue but nothing has been done

The  accident occurred at a spot where some road construction was ongoing and the cyclist might have swerved to avoid it.  Speed might have been a factor in his death as well. Cross Bay Boulevard is known for excessive speeding and Broad Channel residents have long been asking the DOT to install stop lights to address this problem. The bike lane on both sides of the road is not protected. Many accident have occurred previously on this Boulevard. NYC Crash Mapper reports that in the area where Cross Bay Boulevard crosses through Broad Channel a total of 273 crashes were reported since the beginning of 2016 until the end of last September.  8 cyclists, 4 pedestrians and 82 motorists were injured  in some of these accidents.

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location of the fatal bicycle accidentA NYC child riding a bike in a crosswalk was killed by a motorist who failed to yield while making a left turn. The accident occurred on Saturday morning around 10:30 am in Brooklyn, NYC. 10 year old Dalerjon Shahobidinov was on his bike in the crosswalk on Foster Avenue when 29 year old Victor Mejia made a left turn from Seton Place and recklessly slammed into him. Mejia stayed at the scene of the accident. The police found that he was driving without a license and charged him with failure to exercise due care, failure to yield and driving without a license. The driver  who never applied for a license, has a long history of reckless driving with 22 summonses that include two running red lights.

24 bicyclists killed in NYC in 2019

Dalerjon was a fourth grade student at PS 134 and has 3 other siblings. When the accident occurred he was riding with a group of friends with whom he was playing soccer in Prospect Park. The child is the 24th cyclist to die in a traffic accident in New York City this year. The victim before him was a senior e-bike rider. 62 year old Abul Bashar was a delivery cyclist for a restaurant. He was struck by a private sanitation truck on September 8th and could never recover from his injuries. He died on September 18th.

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Borden-Ave-and-11streetA 14 year old cyclist was fatally struck by a truck in New York City on Saturday afternoon. Mario Valenzuela was riding his bike on Borden Avenue around 2:00 pm Saturday afternoon when a truck belonging to limited Interior Group, a private sanitation company, made a right turn onto 11th street and fatally struck him.

The 33 year old truck driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged even though he violated the Right of Way Law.

Last week an off duty cop on a motorcycle was also killed by a private sanitation truck in the Bronx and at the beginning of the month another cyclist suffered critical head injury after he was struck by a dump truck in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Plans to reform the industry and reduce truck roads by having a limited number of companies taking care of specific areas have all been opposed so far.

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51 pedestrians, 13 cyclists 11 passengers and 28 motorists died in auto accidents in New York City during the first semester of 2019. After two consecutive years of decline, traffic fatalities in the city went back above 100 at 101 during the first six months of the year compared to respectively 84, 96, 107, 107, 97 and 121 in the same period of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Fatalities increased for all categories of road users except for motorist deaths which stayed stable at 26 during the first semester of this year and the previous one. Auto-accident-fatalities-NYC-first-semester-2019

NYC Traffic injuries reached a record high at 29,081 during the first semester of the year compared to respectively 28,544, 27,923, 27,540, 23,530, 24,508 and 26,119 during the first semester of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. All category of road users except pedestrians suffered more injuries during this semester than during the previous one.

Car Accident Injuries New York first semester 2019
While the total number of bicycle accidents reported to the NYPD during the first semester of 2019 was slightly lower than the number of accidents reported during the same period of 2018, cyclist fatalities more than doubled during the first six months of the year compared to the first semester of 2018 to reach a record high of 13.  Bicycle accident injuries jumped to 1,907, a record high as well. These numbers came as a bad surprise as 6 months earlier, the de Blasio administration which had been promoting using bicycles to commute around the city was proudly announcing that the number of cyclists killed in the city reached a record low of 9 for the entire year of 2018 and that Vision Zero Initiatives were working. A similar pattern occurring in 2015 and 2016 is an indication that despite all Vision Zero improvements, the city remains a dangerous and deadly place to ride a bicycle.