New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

NY Cycling Deaths Increased in 2017

Posted on Apr 11, 2018 in Bicycle Accidents

New York City bicycle accident attorneys provide help to victims of bike accidents and to family members of bike riders who are killed in collisions.  Unfortunately, according to Chelsea Patch, more fatal bike accidents occurred in 2017 even as overall traffic fatalities dropped.

Bike accidents can occur when drivers do not share the road in a safe and responsible way with bicyclists. It is important for those who are harmed in bike accidents to take appropriate legal action and pursue a claim for compensation from drivers responsible for causing collisions that harmed them.

Bike Rider Deaths Increase in 2017

According to Chelsea Patch, data provided by the city of New York reveals that there were a total of 214 people killed in motor vehicle accidents within the city in 2017. This is the lowest number of fatalities on record. It also reflects a 28 percent decline in the number of fatalities occurring before the beginning of the Vision Zero initiative four years ago. Vision Zero has aimed to make the roads safer so accidents are less likely to occur.

The big decline in traffic accident fatalities is largely driven by a reduction in the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle collisions. In 2013, the year immediately prior to the launch of Vision Zero, there were a total of 184 pedestrians killed in accidents in New York City.  In 2017, there were only 101 pedestrian fatalities. While this is still a high number and far too many pedestrians have been killed, the city touted the big drop in fatalities as showing the success of the Vision Zero initiative.

Unfortunately, while pedestrians may have gotten safer, bicycle riders have sadly not seen their fortunes improve. In fact, the number of bicycle riders killed in New York City has remained largely consistent over the past two decades.  Since the year 2000, anywhere between 12 and 24 bicycle riders have been killed per year on New York’s streets.

Unfortunately, in 2017, there was a substantial number of bicycle riders killed, more so than the year prior. In 2017, there were 23 cyclists who lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents compared with 18 bike riders killed in 2016.

Several of the fatal bicycle accidents made headlines and got a lot of attention in New York because of the ways in which the accidents occurred. For example, a woman was fatally injured in April of 2017 while riding her bicycle in a mixing zone in the East Village. A mixing zone is an area of the road where a left-hand turn lane and bike lane merge. The bicyclist was struck by a box truck that was turning left, and bicycle riders expressed outrage claiming that mixed use areas are too dangerous.

And, in another high-profile incident, two bicycle riders died in accidents in Chelsea within days of each other, prompting calls for more crosstown bicycle lanes.

Unfortunately, even if changes are made, accidents are likely to continue occurring. New York City bicycle accident attorneys should be consulted for help in pursuing a claim for compensation after a bike accident causes injuries or fatalities.

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