Staten Island, while not as congested as downtown Manhattan, is still an urban environment often crowded with motor vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. Unfortunately, numerous factors contribute to a serious collision that can have devastating consequences for bicyclists.
With many protections in place as well as numerous safety warnings and information programs, bicyclist fatalities seem to be a problem that simply cannot be eradicated. While every situation is unique, numerous factors stand out as potentially leading to severe motor vehicle-bicycle collisions in Staten Island, including:
- Dooring: While numerous bike lanes exist, they often fill the space between parallel parking spots and moving traffic. When a driver or passenger opens their door, it often opens directly across the bike path causing riders to either strike the door or swerve into traffic lanes. These are often serious collisions resulting in fatal injuries.
- Distracted driving: Various activities tempt drivers of all ages and experience levels while behind the wheel. From eating and drinking to personal grooming and holding a phone conversation, these tasks pull a driver’s attention from the road. Unfortunately, by focusing on these actions, drivers often miss safety signals, drift across lanes and hit pedestrians or bicyclists they should have seen.
- Failing to recognize bicycle traffic: Depending on their design elements and size, some vehicles have significant blind spots. Additionally, drivers often simply miss recognizing bike traffic due to the much smaller size. Experience has conditioned drivers to see other cars and trucks on the road and they often look right past a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Due to the immense size discrepancy and the lack of protective gear, bicyclists often suffer devastating injuries when struck by a motor vehicle. From traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage to crush injuries and paralysis, bicyclists often feel the brunt of severe consequences. In serious collisions, the injuries prove fatal.