44 percent. That’s the increase in the number of bicycle fatalities in New York City from 2016 to 2017. In just the first half of 2016, well over 7,000 cyclists and pedestrians were injured in traffic incidents throughout the city. Nationwide, a pedestrian is killed every 1.5 hours somewhere in the country. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries or death while walking or bicycling the city, it may be worth your while to consult with a local personal injury attorney.
Why Ride the City?
Bicycling is a commuter’s dream for many reasons. It’s a healthy alternative to driving; it clears one’s head; it’s better for the environment; it’s less stressful. In New York, one-fourth of people say they ride a bike for leisure, to avoid frustrating traffic jams, or to get a little exercise.
Causes Behind Accidents
When a bicyclist or pedestrian gets into it with a car, there’s no question as to who gets the shorter end of the stick. A couple of tons of steel can do a lot of damage to a pedestrian or cyclist who is essentially lacking any of the protections afforded by a vehicle. Even so, drivers share the responsibility for safety. What’s behind many auto-pedestrian or auto-bicycle accidents? A number of factors may contribute:
- Distracted driving;
- Inebriated driving;
- Fatigued driving;
- Poor lookout, particularly while making turns;
- Failure to obey posted speed limits;
- Failing to come to a complete stop when indicated;
- Poor visibility.
Tips for Cyclists
What can bicyclists do to improve their chances of a safer commute?
- Wear a helmet;
- Always travel in the same direction as traffic;
- Use provided bike lanes when available;
- Be aware of parked vehicles and the possibility of a door opening on your approach;
- Make yourself as visible as possible by wearing bright colors, reflective strips, and equipping your bike with head- and tail lights.
- Make sure your bike is in good working order and is the right size for you;
- Stay alert to road hazards and unexpected changes in surface conditions;
- Try to be predictable and use hand signals;
- Obey traffic laws.
- Avoid distractions like your phone when in the roadway;
- Use crosswalks when available;
- Never assume you should proceed just because you have the right of way;
- Look and listen for vehicles that may not notice you;
- Pay particular attention when walking by parking lots or driveways; and
- Use sidewalks whenever available.
Following an Accident
Auto-pedestrian and auto-bicycle accidents can result in horrific challenges to the victims of the crash. If you or a loved one has suffered due to this type of incident, you need an aggressive legal team on your side. At Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC, we handle personal injury cases with the intent of achieving the best possible results for our clients. Contact us at 844-GET-GARY to schedule a free, confidential consultation and get us working for you.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.