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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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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.

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116 bicyclists, 504 pedestrians, 1,116 motor vehicle passengers and 1,795 motor vehicle drivers were injured in traffic accidents in New York City during the month of November for a total of 4,039 people injured. Another 28 people died in similar circumstances, among them were 6 cyclists, 13 pedestrians, 1 passenger and 8 drivers. (click on graphs for full size)

Traffic Accident Injuries NYC November 2020
New York Auto Accident Death November 20
While the total number of monthly deaths reached a record high for the month of November since Vision Zero was launched in 2013, the total number of monthly injuries was at its lowest since 2013 for the month of November.  Since the beginning of 2020 when the Covid pandemic started, the streets of New York City are less busy than usual which might explain why the monthly number of people injured in traffic accidents for the entire year stayed below the trendline. However less traffic has lead to speeding and other reckless activities  which resulted in more traffic fatalities.

Car accident injuries in New York in November with trendline
car accident death in NYC in November with trendline
Because of the pandemic, the city saw an increase of people using bicycles to commute. However riding a bike in New York City remains dangerous despite new bike lanes that are being implemented all over the city. While cyclists infrastructure are decently developed in Manhattan it is not the case in the other boroughs especially in the Bronx where Citi Bike has implemented new bike shares but protected bike lanes are still rare. As a result the number of NYC bicycle accident injuries and deaths are exploding. Last November 6 people died in bicycle accidents compared to respectively 1,0, 2, 0, 0, 1, 2 and 2 in November 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. This is the second time in the last 3 months that the monthly number of bike accident deaths reached a record high. The number of injuries also jumped to 504 last November compared to respectively 246, 285, 366, 346, 276, and 280 in November 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. The number of bicycle accident injuries more than doubled from November 2019 to November 2020. The total number of bicycle accidents was also on the rise with 537 accidents in November compared to respectively 367, 375, 400, 465, 454, 383 and 368 in November 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. While  the graphs below clearly show that the total number of bicycle accidents and the resulting injuries are seasonal and reach their peaks during the summer all trendlines are on the rise and over the recent months bicycle accidents injuries and deaths have all reached record highs.

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location of the fatal e-bike accidentTwo e-bike riders died in NYC accidents  during which they lost control of their bike while no other vehicles were involved since the beginning of this year. Another similar accident occurred around Christmas (see previous blog).

On Thursday January 6th around 2:45 pm, 26 year old Cheng Wang was riding a e-bike on Ralph Avenue. As he was near Avenue D in Flatbush, Wang lost control of his e-bike and fell to the ground. EMS found him unconscious in the street and rushed him to the hospital. While unconscious, Wang was still alive when he arrived at the hospital. He died less than 12 hours later from internal injuries. It is not clear what caused Wang to loose control of his e-bike. The segment of Ralph Avenue where he fell is in an industrial area and the pavement has a lot of cracks.  The weather was very cold as well and the road might have been icy. (read more in StreetBlog)

Less than 24 hours later, on Friday January 7, a man on a e-bike crashed into a parked car in the Bronx and died from his injuries, The accident occurred around 12:45 am. The victim was riding an e-bike on East 149th Street in the Bronx when he crashed into the back of a car parked next to the curb. A surveillance video shows the cyclist riding in the middle of the street, then veering to the right and hitting the car parked against the curb. It is not clear why the victim piloted his  e-bike that way. Maybe there was a pothole, debris on the ground or black ice? The victim who according to the NY Daily News was in his 30ies was not wearing a helmet. He suffered major head trauma. EMS found him unconscious in the street and transported him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The man did not have any identification on him.

 

 

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Location of the deadly e-bike accidentA e-bicyclist died in an accident in New York City a little bit after midnight on Christmas.

The accident occurred in a very dangerous area of sunset park in Brooklyn where several people were previously killed in traffic accidents.

33 year old Alejandro Santos  was riding a e-bike on Third Avenue near the intersection of 24th Street when he collided with the rear of a flat-truck bed that was unoccupied at the time of the accident. The young man was transported to the hospital with serious injuries to his legs as well as internal injuries. He died later on at the hospital.

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location of the collision between the truck and the bicyclistA bicyclist died after being struck by a truck in Harlem, New York on Friday morning around 8:30 am

The driver of the truck was driving illegally on the bus-only lane on First Avenue near 118th Street when he  struck the 41 year old bicyclist. The police also mentioned that the bicyclist was riding the wrong way.  The truck driver stayed at the scene of the accident and was asked to submit himself to the breathalyzer which came out negative. He was not charged despite recklessly travelling on the bus lane while he was supposed to drive on the 3 other traffic lanes of First Ave.

While looking at past traffic violations, the truck has a a history of recklessness with 159 violations since 2014 including red lights and speeding.  The cyclist seemed to have been crushed between the truck and a car that was illegally parked in front of a “No Standing Anytime” sign. The victim is the 24th bicyclists to die in a traffic accident this year. He is also was one of two victims who died in a traffic accident in East Harlem this week-end. Read more in the Gothamist

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location of the bicycle accident on Second AvenueAround 20 people are injured in bicycle accidents in New York City every day. The majority of these accidents are cyclists struck by cars. When a cyclist is struck by a motor vehicle, the injuries are often serious because cyclists do not have any protection expect sometimes for their helmet which is not mandatory in New York City.

Most common injuries sustained by cyclists in a crash are head injuries

Head injuries account for around half of bicycle accident injuries. They can lead to long term disabilities especially for those cyclists who suffered traumatic injury such as skull fracture, cranial hemorrhage, concussion or contusion. Other frequent injuries sustained when a cyclist is hit by a car are fractures and dislocation  including facial, dental and ribs fractures. Internal organs are often injured as well and ruptured spleen, pancreatic trauma, bowel and renal contusions as well as hernia are frequent. Cyclists also frequently get impaled by their handle bar resulting in life-threatening injuries.

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location of the e-bike crash with Rolls RoyceA Man who was seriously injured in a e-bike accident near the Queens-Midtown tunnel on Saturday November 28th died from his injuries, the NYPD announced on Tuesday. 28 year old Jakir Hossain from the Bronx was riding an electrical bike on East 38th Street, Saturday November 28th around 8:45 pm when he was struck by the driver of a Rolls Royce convertible travelling North on Tunnel Exit Street. The cyclist was ejected from his bike and suffered multiple trauma to his head and his body. He was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries after more than a week of pain and suffering.

The 30 year old driver of the Rolls Royce was not charged. The investigation is still ongoing. The report mentions that the driver had the green light . Tunnel Exit Street is notoriously dangerous. Drivers are speeding and visibility is bad. Last year 17 crashes were reported on this short street segment.

The death of Jakir Hossain once again demonstrates that while more and more people are riding bicycles in  New York City, many streets of the city are still extremely dangerous to ride and more should be done to protect cyclists. Read more in Street Blog

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After reaching a record high in September, NYC auto accident fatalities remained high with 12 pedestrians, 1 cyclist, 4 passengers and 7 drivers killed in auto accidents in October compared to respectively 13 pedestrians, 6 bicyclists, 2 passengers and 14 drivers last September and 9 pedestrians, 3 cyclists, 1 passengers and 5 drivers in October 2019 (click on graphs for full format)

After remaining below 20 for the last 4 years, motor vehicle accident fatalities for the month of October  are back to pre Vision Zero levels with a total of 24 people killed on NYC streets.

Auto accident deaths NYC October 2020
While the number of traffic deaths was higher, the number of people injured in car accidents in New York City was at the lowest level for for the 8 years under review in the graph below. A total of 4,235 people sustained injuries in traffic accidents in the city compared to respectively 5,204, 5,498, 5,450, 5,083, 4,851, 4,692 and 4,830 in October 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

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location of the bike collision
A New York cyclist who was struck by a car died from his injuries one week after the accident occurred. On Saturday November 7th around 1:00 am , Juan Tiu-Caxaj was riding his bicycle on Autumn Avenue. As he crossed Fulton Street he collided with a car heading westbound on Fulton Street. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident. He was not charged. The young victim suffered head trauma and was transported to the hospital. His condition was stable but  it deteriorated and he died from his injuries a week later.

According to the police, the cyclist rode through a stop sign just before the collision.  The investigation is still ongoing to find out the exact cause of the accident.

According to Vision Zero studies, East New York is among the most dangerous areas in New York for bicyclists. However so far not much has been done in this neighborhood to promote bicyclists safety compared to other areas of New York City like Manhattan.