80 people were injured in bicycle accidents in New York City between March 9th and March 15th compared to 56 during the same week last year. This 42.9% increase occurred as more and more New Yorkers make the decision to ride a bike instead of taking the subway during the COVID-19 crisis.
Distracting driving is the number one cause of bicycle accident injuries in New York City
Unfortunately despite significant safety improvements implemented by the Vision Zero program, riding a bike in the city is still dangerous especially for newbies. Among the 80 bicycle accident injuries reported by the NYPD, 38 occurred in Brooklyn, 19 in Manhattan, 11 in the Bronx, 11 in Queens and 1 in Staten Island. Distracted driving and failure to yield were the most common causes of injuries with 33 accidents caused by distracted drivers and 15 caused by failures to yield.
11 construction workers died and 586 were injured on the job in New York City last year according to statistics from the NYC Department of Buildings. Half of the fatalities occurred in Manhattan, 2 in Brooklyn, 2 in Queens and one in the Bronx. No fatalities were reported in Staten Island. 12 construction workers died yearly during the 4 previous years. When looking at these numbers it is important to keep in mind that the NYC Department of Buildings has very narrow criteria to count construction fatalities in the city and an estimated one third of the construction deaths recorded by OSHA in New York City dot not appear in the DOT stats.
The number of workers injured in construction accidents in New York City last year declined compared to the 3 previous years but was higher than in 2015. 586 construction workers sustained injuries on construction sites in the city last year compared to 761 in 2018, 666 in 2017, 599 in 2016 and 472 in 2015 according to the DOT statistics. Most accidents occurred on Manhattan construction sites followed by Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island. The monthly number of hard hats injured on the job reached a peak in August at 62 and were above 50 during the warm season in May, June, July and September. During all other months of 2019 the number of injuries recorded on NYC construction sites in 2019 was below 50. This is quite an improvement compared to the year before during which injuries almost reached 100 in May and were above 50 every month except for November and December.
Manhattan Construction accident deaths and injuries are still on a rising trend despite a decline in both deaths and injuries last year. 4 construction workers died in Manhattan during the 3 month period of April, May and June and 2 others in October. July and August had the highest number of injuries with 38 workers injured in July and 34 in August.
Two years ago one of our clients, actress Ruthie Ann Miles and her five year old daughter were struck by a reckless driver as they were crossing the street in the crosswalk with the light in their favor. The daughter was killed and the actress who was pregnant at the time of the accident, later on lost the baby she was carrying. Another 1 year old child was also killed in the accident. The driver, Dorothy Burns, had a history of reckless driving. In the year preceding the accident she was caught 4 times speeding in school zone areas and 4 other times running a red light.
Despite the many Vision Zero Initiatives implemented since 2014, the number of people dying in traffic accidents increased again last year after 4 years of decline. Many accidents were caused by reckless driving.
In an effort to address this problem, the City Council is about to adopt a new program that targets reckless drivers. The reckless driving initiative is expected to start as a 3 years pilot. During that time any owner of a vehicle that is charged with 5 red light camera violations or 15 speed camera violations in a year will have to complete a safety course developed by the DOT. If a reckless driver refuses to attend the safety course his vehicle may be seized.
Injuries or even deaths related to ice falling from buildings in New York City isn’t something new and it is quite common for NYC pedestrians to see sidewalks partially closed during the winter because of the potential risk of ice chunks falling from buildings.
Recently however, entire streets of the city were closed for several days by the police because of massive chunks of ice falling from supertall glass skyscrapers.
The car accident took place on Monday afternoon around 2:30 pm at the intersection of 54th Street and 4th Avenue in Sunset Park in Brooklyn, NYC. 5 teenage girls were riding in the Camaro and a man and his 5-year-old son were inside the minivan. A female pedestrian in her 40ies who was crossing the street was also hit by the Camaro. Another car, a Honda Pilot was damaged in the crash.
The pedestrian suffered serious injury and was transported to the hospital. The father and his son as well as one of the teens aboard the Camaro were also transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
One construction worker died on the job in New York City in June bringing the total of deaths to 5 for the first half of 2019 compared to respectively 6, 2, 5 and 6 for the first semester of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. The June fatality occurred in Manhattan. 4 of the 5 fatalities on NYC construction sites occurred in Manhattan and the other one in Brooklyn during this first semester. No deaths were recorded in the Bronx, Queens or Staten Island construction sites during the first six months of the year.
A total of 4 construction accident fatalities were recorded in Manhattan during the first semester of 2019 compared to respectively 2, 1, 3 and 3 during the first semesters of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. This last semester was the deadliest in Manhattan since 2015.
A hard hat died and five others were injured after a building under construction partially collapsed in the Bronx. 48 year old Segundo Huerta, a father of five, was working on a construction site located at 92 East 208 Street in the Bronx, on Monday around noon, when the third floor of the building started to crumble and falling on workers below. Segundo and his colleagues were hit and buried in concrete and debris. When the firefighters arrived, Segundo was trapped and by the time they were able to recover him he had succumbed to fatal injuries.
The other construction workers injured were Segundo’s family members or good friends. His 21 year old nephew Manuel Giovanni Huerta suffered a serious spine injury. His cousin Santiago Mayancela suffered a torn ear and a leg injury. Luis Romero, the brother of Segundo’s sister in law suffered a serious head injury. Two friends from the family Luis Antonmio Quizhpi and a man identified as Jose were also injured. The group of workers had been working together on construction sites for more than 12 years. Segundo, originally from Ecuator, had been living in the US for 19 years. The family and relatives that gathered at the scene of the accident were heart broken.
OVERLOADED FLOOR CAVED IN
More people than ever were injured in auto accidents in New York City and the number of cyclists deaths was back at its highest during the second trimester of 2019. Despite a significant decline in the total number of accidents recorded by the NYPD during the period of April, May and June, more motorists, passengers and cyclists were injured in accidents during the second trimester of 2019 than during the same period of 2018. Pedestrians were the only NYC road users that recorded a decline in injuries compared to the same period of 2018.
16,084 people were injured in NYC traffic accidents during the second trimester of 2019 compared to respectively 15,624, 15,315, 15,604, 13,461, 13,703 and 14,443 during the second trimester of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. This is the first time that the number of accident injuries in New York goes over 16,0000 during the second trimester. Motorists are the ones who are the most frequently injured in car accidents. They account for almost half of the cases. Passengers injuries account for almost a third of the injuries.
After a steady decline from 2015 to 2018, auto accident fatalities increased again during the second trimester of 2019. 24 pedestrians, 17 motorists, 7 cyclists and 6 passengers died in traffic accidents in New York City last April, May and June.