Bicycles are a great way to get around a busy city. They offer a relatively inexpensive means of transportation that can often beat the wait times that come with getting stuck in a traffic jam. Although generally a safe way to get around the city, recent studies have found that the rate of serious accidents is on the rise.
#1: How common are these accidents?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a nonprofit educational organization that focuses on reducing motor vehicle related deaths, the rate of bicycle fatalities among those over the age of 20 have tripled since 1975. In 2019 alone 843 bikers died from injuries after a motor vehicle crash. These fatal accidents reached a low point in 2010 but have since increased by 36%.
When looking at a more local level, New York City has also seen an alarming increase in the rate of accidents. According to a recent report, 2021 was the deadliest year on the city’s streets with almost 20 bicyclists killed after car accident crashes in New York City in 2021 — a number the executive director of Transportation Alternatives stated in a recent report was part of a “record number” of traffic violence related fatalities.
#2: What are our leaders doing to address this problem?
City leaders have two big efforts currently underway to address this issue: redesign and increased enforcement. Families for Safe Streets states that Mayor Eric Adams and his administration are planning to redesign 1,000 intersections with a focus on increased biker and pedestrian safety.
The report by Transportation Alternatives also finds that the majority of fatal accidents are the result of drivers who fled the scene, do not have a valid license, or had at least three prior convictions. As a result, leaders are considering an increase to the rate at which they impound vehicles owned by “serial reckless drivers” to help further reduce the rate of these fatal accidents.
#3: Are there remedies for victims of bike accidents?
Those who are injured after a motor vehicle accident may be able to hold the driver accountable for the cost of the accident through a civil suit. An attorney experienced in these cases can review the facts and discuss your options.