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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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18 people died (8 pedestrians, 8 motorists, 1, cyclist, 1 passenger) and  4,434 were injured in NYC crashes in November 2021 compared to respectively 28 and 4,039 in 2020. The total number of auto fatalities was also lower than in October 2021 during which 28 people died in crashes in the city. While the pandemic changed the way people are commuting in the city, the number of traffic deaths which had exploded in November 2020, is back to a level similar to the last 3 previous years, hovering around 20. Globally, over the last 8 years, the NYC traffic fatalities trendline is declining, however it is the first time since last May that monthly traffic fatalities are actually below this trendline. (Click on graphs for full view)

NYC auto accident deaths November 2021
Pedestrians and motorists represented most of the deaths with 8 of  each category dying in crashes in November. Additionnally one cyclist and one passenger also died in crashes during that month. In November 2020,  the high number of deaths was mostly caused by a much higher number of cyclists (6) and pedestrians (13) deaths, while the number of motorist and passenger deaths were lower and similar to November 2021 (6 and 1). November 21 was also a better month than October 21 during which  8 motorists, 5 passengers, 3 cyclists and 12 pedestrians lost their lives in crashes.

Motor vehicle accident fatalities NYC November 2021
NYC Auto accident injuries remained lower than usual last November with 4,434 crash injuries compared to respectively 4,039, 4,733, 4,943, 4,892, 5,014, 4,357, 4,222 and 4,692 in November 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Before the pandemic, the monthly number of car accident injuries was usually above 4500 during the month of November. During the pandemic it dropped lower and as a result the trendline which was previously slightly increasing is now slightly decreasing.

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Vision Zero recently released a cycling trend in New York City. However the presentation is a little bit disappointing as it doesn’t contain any bicycle accidents statistics or safety analysis that compare the surge in the number of bicycle rides in the city with the number of bicycle accident injuries and deaths. So we used the bicycle accident injuries and deaths statistics from the NYPD and we compared them with the DOT estimated numbers of rides.

While the city has been making some improvements over the years and  created new bike lanes, numbers clearly show that this is not enough as a record high percentage of riders dying in bicycle accidents were recorded in 2019 and 2020. While the de Blasio administration has been pushing New Yorkers to use bicycles and other clean modes of transportation, recent data show that more has to be done to protect New York cyclists.

The ratio of  bicycle accident fatalities compared to the number of rides which was pretty high in 2014 when Vision Zero started decreased significantly in 2015, remained a little higher in 2016 and 2017 and droped in 2018. Unfortunately it didn’t last. In 2019, the percentage of cyclists deaths was back at the 2014 levels and it reached a record high in 202o.

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Cross Bronx ExpresswayHeavy pollution causing asthma to the population, deadly car accidents, no consideration for pedestrians and cyclists and racially biased, the Cross Bronx Expressway is in serious need of a revamp.

Activists who have have been asking for years for the 8-mile highway to be capped have finally been heard. This week, as part of the infrastructure bill,  Transportation Secretary Pete Buttiegieg announced that $2 million will be invested in a study looking at  the negative impacts of the Cross Bronx Expressway by capping it and building parks, investing in electrical vehicle chargers and creating safer options for cyclists and pedestrians.

Originally built and designed by Robert Moses, the Cross Bronx Expressway has not only displaced populations of Black and Latinos and destroyed their businesses but has also became a major health issue for those families of the South Bronx who live nearby.

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New bike lane will prevent collisions on Brooklyn BridgeAfter several bicycle accidents and multiple close calls between pedestrians and cyclists on the overcrowded Brooklyn Bridge, the DOT finally opened a new protected bike lane mid September. As a result, regular commuters who were avoiding the bridge because of the over crowding are making a massive come back. During the month of October,  there was an average of 4,206 rides daily compared to 2,239 during October 2020.  The daily rate of rides remained high and stable on the Manhattan Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge suggesting that  more people made the decision to commute by bike now that the Brooklyn bridge has a separate protected bike lane. The Brooklyn bridge provides a direct access between Dumbo in Brooklyn and the financial district where many New Yorkers go to work daily.

Narrow bi-directional protected bike lane can feel crowded and dangerous when traffic is busy

While separating the bike lane from the pedestrians was already a major step in improving bike riding safety on the Brooklyn Bridge, the 8 foot wide two-way bike lane remains extremely tight.  Recommendations from The National Association of Transportation suggest a minimum 12 feet wide for bidirectional bike lanes. With the surge not only in regular bicycles but also in various types of e-bikes, e-scooters and cargo-bikes, it can sometimes be dangerous for people to cross on the 8 feet wide bike lane. Cargo bikes that have been promoted by the city to reduce truck traffic are wider than 4 feet and can create collision risks. Additionally, people on moppeds that are  not supposed to be on bike lanes break the rules and use a considerable amount of space while passing cyclists and create additional risks of accidents on a tight bike lane.  It will also be interesting to see if, now the borders are re-opened, if tourists on bikes decide to use the bridge… the tight lanes do not really allow for a picture stop.

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During the third quarter of 2021, a total of 71 people died in crashes in New York City including 24 pedestrians, 5 cyclists, 9 passengers and 33 motorists. Since the Covid19 crisis started, auto accident fatalities in New York City have peaked and  street safety activists are pointing fingers at the de Blasio administration for failing to keep the streets safe.

A total of 14,335 people were injured in traffic accidents in New York City during Q3 2021 compared to respectively 13,437, 16,083, 16,300, 15,860, 16,048, 13,998, 13,472, 14,900 during Q3 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013. Before 2015, the passengers category  was the one with the most injuries with usually between 5,000 and 6,000 passenger injuries during Q3. In 2015 after the introduction of the Vision Zero program, passenger injuries significantly declined to 4,121 while motorist injuries jumped from 4,502 to 6,043. The increase in motorist injuries is linked to an increase in accidents related to distracted driving and more and more people using their cellphone while driving. After the first year of Vision Zero, passenger injuries during Q3 went back above 5,000 and then, back below 5,000 after the Covid19 crisis hit in 2020. Motorist injuries, mostly linked to distracted driving continued to rise reaching a record high in 2019 with 7,437 motorists injured during Q3.

New York Auto Accident injuries by category during Q3
6,349  motorists were injured in car accidents in New York City during the third quarter of 2021 compared to 5,931 for the same period of 2020 and 7,437 for the same period of 2019. Motor vehicle accident injuries reached a peak during Q3 2019 in New York City and then dropped to levels never seen since 2014 when the Covid19 crisis hit.  They were up during this year’s Q3 but not as high as what they used to be during Q3 2019.

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location of the hit and run accidentA deaf man who was standing next to his bicycle in the median of Atlantic Avenue at the intersection of Essex Street in East New York, Brooklyn, was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Friday night around 10:10 pm.

Hit by a speeding car

56 year old Jose Ramos had just finished a late shift at a store and was heading home with his wife Martha. Jose was walking next to his wife with his bike on his side. As they were crossing Atlantic Avenue at Essex street, they stopped on the median to wait for the light to turn green for the pedestrians. All of sudden a sedan racing down Atlantic Avenue slammed into Jose, causing him major body trauma. His wife Martha who is also deaf, ran home two blocks away, to get someone to call an ambulance. When she came back a few minutes later, the sedan was gone.

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8 pedestrians, 3 cyclists, 4 motor vehicle passengers, and 13 motor vehicle drivers died in auto accidents in New York City during the month of July. Usually, monthly pedestrian deaths account for the largest share of the road fatalities in New York City but since the pandemic started, monthly motorist deaths often account for the biggest part of the motor vehicle accident fatalities in the city. As a result of this increase in motorist fatalities, since the end of the lockdown, the number of auto deaths was above 20 for 9 months out of 14. As a comparison, in 2019, it was above 20 only twice during the entire year and in 2018, only once during the entire year. Speed and recklessness have been a factor in many of these deaths as well as an increased amount of New Yorkers travelling by car instead of public transportation because of Covid19 fears.

Car accident deaths by road users in New York July 21
NYC traffic accident deaths in the month of July reached their highest since July 2014 with 28 fatalities. Since June last year, road fatalities have been out of control in New York City. For the 4th consecutive month, auto accident fatalities remained above 20 and significantly above the trendline. These high numbers of fatalities had not been seen since 2013 before Vision Zero started.

Auto accident deaths NYC July 2021

Traffic accident injuries lower than before the pandemic

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Bronx residents are the first New Yorkers to enjoy the benefits of the pilot e-scooter program but at the same time Bronx roads are among the most dangerous for cyclists and scooter riders.  E-scooters and e-bikes have been legal in New York City since the beginning of last year but so far there was no e-scooter share program in the city. E-scooters have been a very controversial subject in New York City. While they can be an excellent and sustainable mode of transportation for neighborhoods that are not well served by public transportation, they can be dangerous for users and for pedestrians alike.

After long discussions and negotiations, the city finally agreed to launch a pilot program in the Bronx, and since Tuesday  3000 e-scooters are available to East Bronx residents. The pilot will go on for a year and then, the city will decide to expand it or not.

While the scooter program is a great idea, the city needs to address the lack of protected infrastructures in the Bronx

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A total of 118 people including 39 motorists, 16 motor vehicle passengers, 5 cyclists and 58 pedestrians lost their life in crashes in New York City during the first six months of 2021. This is the highest number of traffic accident fatalities during the first semester since 2013 when 121 people died in crashes. During the 7 following years, after Vision Zero was launched in 2014, auto fatalities declined and oscillated around 100 during the first six months of the year with their lowest at 84 deaths during the first semester of 2018.

traffic accident fatalities NYC 1st semester 2021
New York City auto accident injuries were lower than usual during the first semester of 2021. Since the beginning of the pandemic last year, less people have been on the road in the city which might explain the decline in injuries. A total of 22,898 people were injured. Among them were 10,975 motorists, 6,492 passengers, 2,303 cyclists and 3,128 pedestrians.

traffic accident injuries new york 1st sem 2021
Pedestrian fatalities were at their highest since 2014 last semester with 58 deaths compared to respectively, 37, 51, 49, 49, 56, 34, 60 and 72 during the first six months of 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.It is very disappointing that after 7 years of  multiple Vision Zero initiatives, the number of pedestrian fatalities is back at its 2014 level. Are more pedestrians dying because the streets are still less busy than usual and more people are speeding or driving in a reckless manner?

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1 bicyclist, 15 pedestrians, 11 motorists and 3 passengers lost their life in crashes in New York City last May. That is a total of 30 fatalities. Since Vision Zero started in 2014, this is the first time that such a high number of traffic accident fatalities were recorded during a month of May.  Last year because of the Covid-19 lockdown, only 5 fatal crashes occurred in May and during the previous years respectively, 18, 13, 11, 18, 28, 25 and 15 people died in NYC traffic accidents in May 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Since the beginning of  the Covid-19 crisis, the de Blasio administration seems to have given up on all the efforts deployed during Vision Zero and the recent traffic accident fatality numbers are similar to the numbers reported during the pre-Vision Zero era.

car-crash-deaths-New-york-May-2021
4,927 people were injured in crashes in New York last May compared to 2,437 during the Covid-19 lockdown in May 2020 and 5,554 in May 2019. The number of car accident injuries last May is a little bit lower than what it was during May 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

traffic accident injuries nyc May 2020
While looking at fatalities by category of road users, pedestrians and motorists accounted for the majority of the fatalities last May. Bicyclist fatalities have been lower than usual and passenger fatalities remained somewhat stable.  It is the first time since 2013, before Vision Zero started, that road fatalities in New York City are above 25 for two months in a row.  Over the last 12 months, monthly traffic accident deaths in New York have been 5 times over 25. Even in 2013, before Vision Zero started, monthly auto accident deaths only went 4 times over 25 during the entire year.