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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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10 pedestrians, 8 passengers and 6 drivers died in crashes in New York City in February. No cyclists fatalities were reported to the NYPD during this month. 266 bus accidents, 577 truck accidents and 56 motorcycle accidents were reported among the total 7,261 motor vehicle collisions recorded in February.

Traffic accident fatalities in New York City reached a record high for the month of February with 24 people dying in traffic accidents compared to respectively 10, 17, 12, 16, 13, 18, 15, 12 and 20 in February 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Traffic accident fatalities in the city last February were even higher than what they were in February 2013 before Vision Zero started.  The  trendline which had been steadily declining during Vision Zero is now almost flat. Since last February ,monthly car accident fatalities have been at the level of the trendline or above which is quite unusual and quite worrisome.

Car accident fatalities February 22
The high number of car accident fatalities in New York City last February is mostly due to a record high number of car passengers fatalities (see category in red in the graph below, click on it for full size). 8 motor vehicle passengers died in crashes last February compared to 5 in January 2020 and 2 in February 2021. Since Vision Zero started and even a year before, the highest total monthly passengers fatalities were 6 in April 2014 and 6 in July 2015.

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Grand Street bike lane67 people were injured in bicycle accidents on the Grand Street bike lane in Brooklyn since it was implemented in 2019. The bike lane is only protected by plastic bollards and as a results is constantly obstructed by vehicles  illegally parking on it.   The Grand Street bike  lane is one of the busiest bike lanes in Brooklyn and is used on a daily basis by numerous cyclists commuting between Bushwick and downtown Manhattan though the Williamsburg bridge.

Before being elected, Eric Adams promised he would add 300 miles of protected bike lanes in all five boroughs

After his election, the mayor also promised he would reinforce 20 miles of bollard protected bike lanes in the first 100 days of his tenure.  This promise no longer applies and the DOT has now announced that this task would be finished by 2023.

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657 pedestrians, 161 cyclists, 870 passengers and 1,429 motorists were injured in motor vehicle accidents in New York City last January. 19 other road users died in crashes the same month, including 11 pedestrians, 5 passengers and 3 motorists. This is the highest number of fatalities for a month of January since January 2019 and the highest it ever got during a month and more than half of them were motorists. Last year during the same month, 13 people were killed in traffic accidents in the city.

auto accident fatalities NYC January 22
auto accident deaths by category of road users New York January 22
The total number of  people injured in motor vehicle accidents in January 2022 in the city was a little higher than in January 2021 when it reached 3,028 however this number remained lower than numbers recorded during the months of January before the pandemic.  The graph below illustrates well the seasonality of car accident injuries with the month of January being usually a month during which there are less injuries reported than during the summer months. The graph also shows a big drop during the lockdown.

Motorists and passengers are the two categories of road users that usually sustained the most injuries of all auto accidents reported in the city.

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road defect killed cyclistA senior cyclist died in a accident caused by a road defect in Queens, NYC, last Thursday. 77 year old Lin Wen-Chiang was riding his bicycle on 40th Driver in Elmhurst when he hit a broken cave-in pavement  and fell off his bike. He suffered severe head trauma and died from his injuries.

6 complaints were previously logged in with the Department of Transportation as the cave-in pavement was never properly addressed

After the accident occurred, city workers were seen patching the defect which had been poorly addressed despite multiple complaints to the city.

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college point boulevard where the cyclist was struckOn June 4 2021, 16 year old Darwin Durazno died in a bicycle accident in Queens, NYC. The driver never stopped and Darwin was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He died from his injuries 3 days later.  According to the police report, Darwin was riding his bicycle southbound on College Point Boulevard near 18th Avenue  when the driver of a Toyota Camry swerved into the ongoing traffic lane and crashed head-on into the bicyclist.  He then sped off leaving Darwin lying in the street with severe head trauma.

Witnesses of the accident were able to provide a detailed description of the car and of the driver, a male in his 20-30 as well as what the driver was wearing. The police found that the car was a rental from Enterprise that the driver left a block away from the accident scene before fleeing on foot.

It took 8 more months for the police to establish that the driver who killed Darwin was 27 year old Christian Soriano, a Corona resident. Soriano was arrested last week and was charged with driving without a license, leaving the scene of an accident and criminally negligent homicide.  (Read more in StreetBlog)

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According to the most recent NYPD collision statistics, a total of 254 people died in motor vehicle accidents in New York City last year. Among them were 108 pedestrians, 15 cyclists, 33 vehicle passengers and 98 motor vehicle drivers.  Before Vision Zero started in  2014, 286 people died in auto accidents in 2013. Then the number of deaths went down to 250 in 2014, 235 in 2015, 223 in 2016. It reached its lowest in 2018 with 199 traffic accident fatalities and then gradually increased to 214 deaths in 2019 and 239 in 2020.

While pedestrians remain the category of road users recording the highest number of deaths of all road users with 108 of them dying last year, the numbers that caused the total traffic fatalities in New York City to be so high last year were the record number of motorists and passengers fatalities. 98 motorists died and 33 passengers were killed in car accidents last year compared to 84 and 23 in 2013 before Vision Zero started. Distracted driving, speeding and recklessness are the causes of most of these fatalities.

car accident fatalities NYC 2021
Traffic accidents injuries remain lower than usual but however a little bit higher than last year with a total of 50,617 people injured in car accidents in 2021 compared to respectively 43,601, 60,234, 60,646, 58,990, 58,526, 51,255, 50,886 and 54,818 in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. A diminution of the day to day activity in the city because of the ongoing Covid19 crisis may be a factor behind these lower than usual numbers.

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Queensborough bridgeEvery day pedestrians and cyclists are risking dangerous collisions on the narrow share two-way lane on the Queensboro Bridge. De Blasio promised the bridge would be fixed and pedestrians and cyclists would be completely separated and share each a side of the bridge by the end of 2022.  This promise will not be kept as the DOT announced yesterday that the work will not be completed until the end of 2023.  The news raised a lot of outrage as, since the pandemic hit and New Yorkers changed the way they are commuting, the pedestrian and bicyclist traffic was 26 times more heavier than during pre-pandemic era according to  statistics from last September.  Near misses occur daily and crashes resulting in injuries are common on the narrow path where pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders and an influx of faster moped riders who despite knowing that they are illegally using the path, find it safer than riding among cars on the bridge.

Pedestrians and cyclists feel like they have been tricked

The DOT did not provide any explanation as to why the work was delayed except that it was related to the fabrication of the new deck. However pedestrians and cyclists advocates feel like they are taking advantage of. De Blasio promised the South outer roadway would be converted to a pedestrian path starting late 2021 and would be completed this year. Now the DOT says they can not do that because the South outer roadway need to be open to cars during the bridge renovation project.

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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.