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Articles Tagged with bicycle accident nyc

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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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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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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.

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segment-of-bike-lane-on-flatbush what-is-missingThe DOT recently inaugurated a new segment of protected bike lane  crossing Prospect Park in Brooklyn. While the new protected bike lane covers Flatbush Avenue from Grand Army Plaza to Empire Boulevard (see picture from the DOT ). The DOT indicates that the protected bike lane connects  to Downtown Brooklyn”. Unfortunately this is not the case (see map from the DOT with protected bike lanes in green). From Grand Army Plaza to Downtown Brooklyn cyclists still have to make their way through dangerous unprotected bike lanes which put them at a higher risk of getting injured or dying in a bicycle accident.  This is a concern, especially with the actual pandemic situation that has led many Brooklyn residents opting to start using a bike instated of using the subway.

At the recent inauguration of the bike lane, street safety advocates confronted New York Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg about the problem. Trottenberg who is herself commuting by bike between Grand Army Plaza and Downtown Brooklyn puzzled activists when she replied that she felt comfortable with the actual situation. “It’s a pretty good ride between here and Jay Street — you’ve got Vanderbilt to Bergen, so it’s pretty good she said.  She also added “Not everybody has the same opinion” and that’s true:  a day after the inauguration, a very upset dad who uses the bike lane to bring his son to school tweeted the following answer :

https://twitter.com/JarekFA/status/1324129158553915393?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1324129158553915393%7Ctwgr%5Eshare_3&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.brooklynpaper.com%2Fflatbush-fourth-avenue-protected-bike-lanes%2F

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location of the deadly crash between a cyclist and a tractor trailer truckA 34 year old man died in a bicycle accident in the Bronx, NYC, yesterday. The cyclist collided with a tractor-trailer truck on Bruckner Boulevard around 1:45 pm.  It is still not clear how the accident occurred. An initial police report indicates that the cyclist was riding westbound on Bruckner Boulevard and that the Tractor Trailer Truck driver was heading South on Brown Place. No information was provided about who had the light. The report just concludes that the cyclist ran into the back of the truck. The area is often congested as road users use this part of the Bruckner Boulevard to access the Willis Avenue Bridge.

Why would a cyclist run into the back of a truck?

This seems  to be a very strange conclusion and hopefully further investigation will reveal what exactly led to the death of this cyclist. Unfortunately the NYPD has a long history of blaming cyclists for crashes and giving slack to faulty drivers. Last year, Mario Venezuela, a Queens teenager, was fatally hit by a negligent truck driver. The police blamed the teenager for his own death however surveillance footage of the crash shows that the truck driver was reckless and cause the death of the teenager. A video of the crash shows the truck driver veering to his left before cutting hard into a right turn without using his turn signal and crashing into Venezuela.

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Brookklyn bridge bike lane and pedestrian lane are too narrowA recent collision between a wedding photographer and a cyclist on the iconic Brooklyn Bridge (see video below) is probably a perfect example as to why the Brooklyn Bridge is the only bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan that saw a decrease in bicycle traffic since the beginning of the pandemic.  Thankfully both the photographer and the cyclist were ok but it could have been much worse.

Cyclists who are commuting on a regular basis between the two boroughs don’t want to have to fight their way among pedestrians enjoying the space and risk getting injured in a bicycle accident. Therefore they are opting for roads that are less touristy such as the Manhattan bridge or the Williamsburg bridge for those who are commuting between downtown Manhattan and Dumbo or Williamsburg.

The Brooklyn Bridge is the only bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn that recorded a decrease in bike traffic in September

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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