Calls for safety reforms to protect bicyclists have increased after two fatal bicycle accidents in New York City in just a week. According to a CBS New York news report, the first accident occurred when a 36-year-old man riding a Citi Bike was struck and killed by a charter bus on 26th Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues. Police said the bicyclist and the bus were both headed east on 26th Street when they collided. The bicyclist fell to the ground and was run over by the rear tires of the bus. This was reportedly the first fatality involving a Citi Bike in New York City.
The second fatal crash occurred when an 80-year-old man riding a bicycle was struck and killed in a crosswalk when a tour bus driver turned left at 29th Street and Seventh Avenue in Chelsea. The bus driver said he did not see the bicyclist. The elderly man riding the bike was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. With these recent bicycle accident deaths on Manhattan streets, politicians are calling for changes in the law to add more safeguards for bicyclists.
Making Streets Safer
Safety advocates say these tragedies show the need for dedicated bike lanes particularly on narrow side streets. They say the city needs to make tough choices such as eliminating parking on one side of the road so these separate bike lanes can be carved out. Department of Transportation officials have said that the agency will review areas in Chelsea for potential safety enhancements.
According to city officials the Chelsea accident marked the seventh bicyclist fatality of 2017 involving a collision. By this time last year, there were 11 fatal crashes involving bicyclists. Transportation Alternatives reported that trucks and buses accounted for 30 percent of cyclist fatalities in the year 2016.
Recently, the New York City Department of Transportation announced it would add bike lanes in Brooklyn on Classon Avenue after a bicyclist was killed on that street. The bike lanes will run from Washington Avenue at Prospect Park up through Clinton Hill to Flushing Avenue. In places where the road is one lane, a 13-feet-wide parking lane will be reduced to eight feet to add a five-feet-wide dedicated bike lane. Where Classon is currently two car lanes, a shared bike lane will be installed. Officials say the upgrades won’t have much impact on drivers, but will help maximize the visibility and right of way for bicyclists.
Why Bicycle Accidents Occur
Under New York law, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles. Frequently, we see bicycle accidents that occur as the result of drivers’ recklessness, negligence or failure to observe the rules of the road. A number of these accidents occur because motorists do not remember that they share the roadway with bicyclists. Bicycle accidents also occur when motor vehicle drivers travel at an excessive rate of speed or make unsafe turns. A number of bicycle versus vehicle collisions tend to happen because motorists fail to yield the right of way to bicyclists. Impaired or distracted driving and intruding into a bike lane are also common causes of bicycle accidents. In New York City, there have been many recent bicycle accidents that occurred due to larger vehicles making turns and colliding with the bicyclists. Such incidents may happen because of dangerous roadways or due to drivers who simply are not paying attention to the roadway.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Victims of bicycle accidents may seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. The family of a deceased victim may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault parties seeking compensation for damages including, but not limited to, lost future income, medical and funeral costs, pain and suffering, etc.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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