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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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While injuries declined, a surge in New York traffic fatalities for all categories of road users – pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and passengers – was recorded during the third trimester of 2020 compared to the same period of previous years.  77 people died in motor vehicle accidents this summer compared to respectively, 56, 59, 65, 61, 60, 76 and 82 in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. This recent data brings the number of traffic fatalities in the city to its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero and very close to pre-Vision Zero levels. The rising number of traffic deaths occurred in a city that had far less people living in it than usual as many New Yorkers took off for the summer and most foreign tourists were unable to enter the US because of the Covid-19 restrictions. Speeding is  a factor in many of these fatalities. Street safety advocates are also pointing the finger at Mayor de Blasio who decline to listen and apply the recommendations of his COVID-19 transportation recovery panel.

Traffic fatalities NYC third quarter 2020
The number of motorist deaths was at its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero in 2014. 31 motorists died in New York City during the third quarter of 2020 compared to respectively, 21, 26, 22, 13, 16, 21 and 36 during the third quarter of 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Motorist fatalities which were still on a declining trend during the third quarter of 2019 are now on a perfectly flat trend.

Motorist Deaths NYC Third Quarter 2020
Despite more than doubling – from 4 to 9 – between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2020, the number of passenger deaths recorded during the third quarter of 2020 remains on a slightly declining trend when looking at the entire Vision Zero period.

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NYC Bicycle accidents injuries and fatalities 20197 cyclists died in accidents in New York City last September. This is the highest number of monthly bicycle accident fatalities under Mayor de Blasio’s terms.

At the beginning of his term Mayor de Blasio launched the Vision Zero program to reduce the number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in New York City. While the program lead to a decrease in pedestrian fatalities, cyclists fatalities reached a record high in 2019 with 24 cyclist fatalities.  So far 16 cyclists died in traffic accidents in the city in 2020.

While the mayor has been calling on New Yorkers to walk or use bicycles to go to work during the pandemic, he has not done enough to improve their safety according to street safety activists

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location of the fatal collision between the truck and the cyclistA cyclist was fatally struck by a bus in New York City on Monday. 35 year old Sarah Pitts, was riding her bike on Whythe Avenue in Brooklyn when she was fatally struck by a charter bus belonging to Excellent Bus Service. The accident occurred just after midnight near Williamsburg Street. Sarah was a senior prosecutor for the Office of Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales, who was hired in 2018 and assigned to the Appeals Bureau. According to friends, the young woman was heading home after a meeting with “Riders for Rights”, a group of cyclists working on protecting protesters’ first-amendment rights.

In a condolences statement, Brooklyn D.A. Gonzales described Sarah as a brilliant and compassionate lawyer as well as a kind and generous worker who volunteered to come in the office for urgent matters during the COVID-19 crisis.

With its entrance to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, the area around the intersection of Wythe Avenue and Williamsburg Street is particularly dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians. It is also quite common to see cars or school buses obstructing the bike lane.

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protected bike lane saves livesWhile bicycle accidents injuries in New York City went down by 3.6% during the last 3 months compared to the same period last year, bicycle accident injuries in the Bronx increased by 35 %. Bicyclist activist organization, Transportation Alternatives has been asking the city to install more bike lanes in the Bronx but instead the DOT is planning to use more police enforcement.

At the beginning of the summer the NYPD organized a four-weeks enforcement blitz to tame down speeding and failure to yield at Bronx high crash corridors such as Bruckner Boulevard and is planning to organize another one soon.

However while the blitz was  effective in preventing pedestrian accidents, it didn’t curb the soaring number of bicycle accidents in the Bronx this summer. On June 11th, a 24 year old cyclist died from his injuries  after being hit by a car on on Willis Avenue and E. 138th Street. The same day, a 38 year old cyclist was fatally struck by a truck on Park Avenue near 138th Street. Then, on June 20, a 43 year old man riding a e-bike in Pelham Bay Park died after being struck by a vehicle. Last week a cyclist who was hit by a car near East 175th street on August 5th and fought for his life for almost a month, died from his injuries. As mentioned above the number of bicycle accidents injuries is also soaring in the Bronx and a police blitz will have little effect on changing this dangerous trend. In an article in StreetBlog, Edwin Figueroa, a senior organizer at Transportation Alternatives, is asking for permanent measures allowing cyclists to be safe when commuting in the Bronx. “What cyclists from all over the city, but especially in the Bronx, need from this administration is more protected bike-lane infrastructure. The Bronx needs redesigned streets that are self-enforcing, not streets that are reliant on NYPD enforcement to ensure safeness,” he said.

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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.