While New York offers the public various options for public transportation, many people choose to ride bikes for their daily commute. Although bikes are an economical and convenient form of transportation, they can lead to serious accidents. A government report by Safer Cycling examined the rate of cycling across the state across two decades. The report analyzed the rate of residents biking and related accidents.
According to the most recent reporting year, there were about 18,718 New York biking accidents, of which 18,710 resulted in injuries and 8 in fatalities. Even during the pandemic and lock down, the state experienced nearly 12,500 bike crashes, which resulted in 12,422 injuries and 28 fatalities. Although biking safety throughout the state has improved over the past 20 years, the rate of injuries and fatalities is alarming.
There are many reasons why New York biking accidents occur. The leading causes of biking accidents involve:
- Reckless motorists
- Distracted driving
- Motor vehicles in the biking lane
- Failure to yield
- Tailgating a biker
- Impaired driving
- Fatigued driving
Many states have taken steps to address some of these causes. For instance, a neighboring state’s governor recently signed a law that requires drivers to pass pedestrians, bikes, and scooters safely. The law is similar to New York’s “safe distance” traffic safety laws. New York Vehicle and Traffic Laws (VTL) provide that bike users shall have the same rights and be subject to the same duties as motorists.
VTL 1146 specifically provides that motor vehicle drivers must exercise due care to avoid colliding with a bicyclist, pedestrian, or domestic animal on any roadway. If necessary, drivers should sound their horns to warn these entities of the driver’s approach. Moreover, VTL 1122 provides that vehicles approaching from behind must pass to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance.
Similarly, VTL 1123 provides that drivers overtaking from the right can only do so under specific circumstances. These motorists can only pass on the right if the passing driver is about to make a left turn, there is unobstructed pavement with room for two or more moving vehicles, or on a one-way street. Essentially, drivers may only pass if the conditions permit safe overtaking. The laws also address “doorings,” brakeless cars, hands on the handlebars, children on bikes, and other similar safety rules.
Have You Been Involved in a New York Bike Accident?
If you or someone has been the victim of a New York biking accident, contact the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel. The injury lawyers at the firm have extensive experience handling various types of personal injury and wrongful death on behalf of victims and their loved ones. The firm handles accident lawsuits involving motor vehicles accidents, bike crashes, construction accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, dangerous and defective products, dog bites, and nursing home negligence. Our attorneys have recovered significant amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients and look forward to seeing how we can help you. To learn more, contact our office at 914-428-7386 to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation with an attorney on our team.