March 14, 2016 • Bicycle Accidents
Since 2000, data shows approximately .45 percent of pedestrian fatalities in Manhattan were caused by bicycle riders striking pedestrians. However, most experts believe that the official reports of pedestrian deaths after bike crashes significantly undercount the real death rate because the statistics are obtained using emergency room data that records the number of people who died right away from the bike accident. People who sustained injuries from which they later died were reportedly not correctly counted.
While it may not be clear exactly how many people are dying due to bike-pedestrian crashes, the number is not insignificant. In bike-pedestrian accidents last year, there were 305 pedestrians injured and four pedestrians killed, according to AM New York. A total of 45 bicycle riders also got hurt in these crashes when a bike collided with a person.
Bikes are supposed to follow the rules of the road just as drivers do and bicyclists should take reasonable safety precautions to prevent crashes with pedestrians or other vehicles. Unfortunately, bicycle riders do not always know about or understand their obligations. When a bike rider breaks safety rules or makes negligent choices and a crash happens as a result, a New York City personal injury law firm can represent victims of the accident to help them seek compensation for damages.
Bike riding has become much more common in New York City than in recent years. The Department of Transportation has reported there are 10 times as many bicyclists on city streets now as compared with the total number of bike riders in 1980. These bike riders should exercise reasonable care at all times and they can face tickets and other consequences for not following all of the road rules.
There were 1,727 tickets for bicycle infractions last year and there were an additional 3,845 tickets issued to riders for bicycling on the sidewalk. While the number of tickets in both categories has dropped a lot since 2011, there are still thousands of bicycle riders who are clearly not obeying safety laws and who are getting cited as a result.
When bikers don’t follow the rules, including the requirement to have bells on their bike, as well as brakes, lights, or reflector vests, the bicycle riders could increase the chances of a crash occurring significantly. Elderly people are especially vulnerable and are more likely than other demographic groups to need hospitalization or rehabilitation when a bike rider strikes them.
Anyone with low vision is also especially at high risk of bicycle infractions that cause danger. People with vision problems cannot hear bikes coming and with bikes lobbying to be allowed to roll through red lights, those who are crossing the road could find themselves with a bike right behind them before they know it.
Bicycle riders need to ensure they are taking responsibility for being safe. If you or someone you love is hurt by a bike rider, contacting a personal injury law firm is a smart choice so you can pursue a claim to get the bicyclist to compensate you for losses. Contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff today to discuss your legal options.