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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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Ghost bike showing locations of previous NYC deadly bicycle accidentsA cruel and reckless driver  blows a stop sign, hits a cyclist critically injuring him, drives away, comes back, takes a look at the cyclist, gets back in his car and speeds away.

The accident occurred at night last week in the Bronx. A 46 year-old cyclist was riding his bike through the intersection of Dudley and Edison Avenues in Pelham Bay when a driver blew the stop sign and slammed into him.  A video surveillance first shows the driver taking off.  He then returned to the scene of the accident, took a look at the victim who was suffering critical injury and took off again. The victim was found by EMS and rushed to the hospital. (Read more in the Daily News)

Bicycle accidents injuries in the Bronx have been on the rise during this period of the year compared to the same period last year.  According to the most recent NYPD traffic statistics, 17 people were injured in bicycle accidents in the Bronx during the week of April 5 to April 11 compared to 2 during the same week a year earlier.  Last years numbers were much lower because the city was observing the Covid19 lock-down and the streets were mostly empty. The same can be said when looking at statistics on a 4 week basis. 54 people were injured in Bronx bicycle accidents between March 14 and April 11 2021 compared to 20 for the same period a year earlier.

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Bike lane in front of Flor de Mayo restaurantCyclists travelling at a high rate of  speed in bike lanes crossing outdoor dining areas  in New York City are putting restaurant staff and clients at danger and a restaurant owner who tried to put speed bumps on the bike lane had the DOT remove them shortly after.

After an e-bike rider almost hit a child in front of his restaurant, Jose Chu, the owner of Flor de Mayo bought two plastic speed bumps and installed them in front of his restaurant.  Flor de Mayo is located in the Upper West Side on Amsterdam Avenue between 83rd and 84th Streets. Cyclists and e-bikes are constantly zipping through the popular bike lane with e-bikes often going 20 miles an hour near the restaurant sheds. While Shu  says speedy cyclists “are an accident waiting to happen'”,  Upper West Side cyclists were pretty quick at denouncing the speed bumps on social media and calling them “an accident waiting to happen”. A  cyclist tweeted a pic of the new bumps and mentioned that  her bike severely jolted as she rode over them. Bike advocates followed up on the tweet asking officials to remove them and the DOT got quickly involved. 24h later, a  NYC Department of Transportation employee showed up at the restaurant front door and asked Chu to remove the speed bumps. The employee mentioned that the speed bumps were illegal and caused a hazard to cyclists. He told Chu that restaurants had to use signs asking cyclists to slow down.

When interviewed by the West Side Rag, Chu said he already has signs but cyclists simply ignored them. That is why he tried a new tactic. He said he tried to go over the speed bumps with a bike and it was fine  as long as he was going slowly.

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view from inside the Brooklyn Hair salon where a car crashed car jumped the curb injuring 5 people in NYC last week. The accident took place in Brooklyn last Tuesday Morning around 8:00 am. A large SUV collided with a sedan at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Third Street in Gowanus sending both vehicles flying in separate directions. The sedan ended up in the front door of the Elements Hair Salon (see picture from Google map on the left) located right at the corner of the intersection while the SUV struck a bicyclist and a razor scooter rider. The bicyclist, the scooter rider and the 3 occupants of the SUV were all transported to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

The owner of the Hair Salon, Robert Santana, was just a few feet away from the Salon and saw the accident unfolding in front of him. He told the media that he was a few minutes behind his regular schedule that morning. He felt lucky he was not there at the time of the accident.

After crashing into the Hair Salon, the people in the sedan fled the scene of the accident on foot.

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NYC Bicycle accidents preventionDuring the pandemic, NYC bicycle accident injuries and deaths have reached record highs.

Many New Yorkers who switched their Metrocard for a bike lock learned that commuting in New York City by bike remains challenging especially in some areas of the city where bicycling infrastructures are still limited.

To help newbie cyclists and offer a refresher to more experienced ones, the NYC Department of Transportation recently released  “Bike Smart”, a guide to safely ride a bicycle in  New York City.

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Pedestrian and cyclist injuries and fatalities were lower than usual last February and so were motorcyclist, bus and truck accidents.

Traffic Accident injuries reached a record low in New York City in January and February. While February car accident injuries always reach a yearly low, the number of NYC car accident injuries was at its lowest since Vision Zero started. 2,503 people were injured in traffic accidents in New York City compared to 3,028 a month earlier and 4,006 in February 2020. The number of traffic accident injuries mostly dropped over the last 12 months because of the Covid19 crisis that affected the City and slow down activities. (click on graphs for full sizes)

Traffic Accident Injuries NYC February 2021
Motor vehicle accident injuries in NYC in February 2021 by category
After reaching annual record highs over the summer of 2020, the number of New York auto accident deaths also declined and stabilized to numbers somewhat similar to previous years despite the slowdown. 10 people died in traffic accidents last February compared to 13 in January and 17 in February 2020.  Since Vision Zero was launched in 2014, the number of traffic accident fatalities in February has been oscillating between 17 and 10 with 10 last month being the lowest. Fatalities were mostly pedestrian fatalities.

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e-scooter-4496668_640Electric scooters have become extremely popular and New York City finally is implementing a first e-scooter share program in the Bronx (see previous blog). The e-scooter wave started around 2017 and researchers have been accumulating data worldwide for a few years that are allowing them to provide pertinent reviews on the risk of accidents and injuries related to e-scooters.

Yesterday, the Injury Prevention online section of the BMJ Journals released “Injury patterns and circumstances associated with electric scooter collisions: a scoping review”, an in depth study on e-scooter collisions and the resulting injuries conducted by Manish Toofany  (Faculty of Medicine, The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada), Sasha Mohsenian, (Faculty of Science, The University of British Columbia), Leona K Shum (Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, The University of British Columbia) Herbert Chan and Jeffrey R. Brubacher (both part of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine The University of British Columbia and the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Evaluation (C2E2) in Vancouver).

The researchers were able to gather the materials that have been published worldwide about scooter collisions and their injuries during the previous years  to identify injury patterns such as cause, type, body location, and severity of the injury

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NYC DOT scooter pilotThe NYC DOT recently announced that a new scooter pilot program is on the way but did not elaborate much as what will be done to prevent accidents and make the rides safe for users. In a recent press conference, the new DOT commissioner, Hank Gutman, just promised new dedicated bike lanes in the East Bronx to make the rides safer for scooter users and cyclists.

While it is exciting that commuters who have a long way to get to the closest train station can now benefit from such programs, it is important that these commuters can do so safely. Street safety activists believe that while encouraging New Yorkers not to use a car, the NYC DOT has been lagging behind in keeping cyclists and scooter users safe. Last year a record  number of people were killed or injured in bicycle accidents.

Scooter-share programs have now been launched in many cities all over the word. Every state has different regulations when it comes to safety  but they are not standardized like they are in some European countries. For example in Italy, a law requires all users of recreational scooters to use a helmet to reduce head injuries which are quite common in scooter accidents.

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In 2020, New York saw a record high in motorist (driver) deaths and bicycle injuries and deaths, a record low in pedestrian deaths and a much lower number of truck and bus accidents than usual. The Covid 19 crisis that lasted during most of 2020 had a significant impact on New Yorkers commuting habits around the city. Emptier streets have lead to reckless driving and as a result more deaths related to speed. A surge in bicycle accident injuries was also recorded as many New Yorkers are now using bicycles instead of riding the subway.

Surge in traffic accident deaths in NYC

Despite a slowdown in activity in the city , 239 people died in traffic accidents in New York City, compared to 214 in 2019, 199 in 2018, 209 in 2017, 223 in 2016, 235 in 2015, 250 in 2014 and 286 in 2013. The number of car accident deaths was almost back to the level it was when the Vision Zero program started. If it was not for a significant decrease in pedestrian deaths, the number of fatalities would have been over this level with all other categories of road users reaching record high number of fatalities.

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Loading zone sign in NYCDouble parking is a cause of traffic accidents in New York City. It is especially dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. For the cyclists because they have to go around the double parked vehicles and get in and out of  traffic. Double parked vehicles also cause visibility issues that can be especially dangerous for pedestrians crossing the road.

With online orders keeping on  growing, New York City traffic has changed and it is common to see USPS, UPS, FEDEX, FreshDirect, Amazon, and other delivery trucks clogging the streets of New York City, creating dangerous situations for road users.

The DOT has been working on looking for a solution to remediate this problem and recently announced that it was creating Residential Loading Zones.  These zones will allow trucks to effectuate their deliveries, residents to unload their car, car services and taxis to unload and pick up passengers.  A pilot program tested this concept back in 2019 in several NYC neighborhoods. The pilot was very discreet and the media were not aware of it until some residents whose car parking spaces had been used for loading zones got really upset and called the media after they continued to park their cars there despite the new no parking signs and had their cars towed away. While some neighborhoods were not happy with the new loading  zones others residents like those living on West End Avenue between 79th and 95th have been asking for such measures for years.

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location-of-the-bicycle-accidentA man delivering pizza was critically injured in a bicycle accident in Manhattan. The accident took place on the Lower East Side around 6:30 pm yesterday night. A 21 year old driver, identified by the police as Dylan Penalo, was driving his car West on Delancey Street when he struck the cyclist who was riding South on Columbia Street, just where the underpass of the Williamsburg bridge is located.

The bicycle and the front of the sedan were  destroyed causing critical harm to the victim

The impact was brutal, critically injuring the victim who is believed to be in his 40ies. The front of the car was partially destroyed as well. The windshield was destroyed and so was the front grille of the car.  The driver took off on foot leaving the victim critically injured on the ground behind him. He later on returned and surrendered to the police. He was also transported to the hospital after he complained about wrist pain. Penalo who is now in police custody, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with a serious injury, reckless endangerment and assault.