As the days get longer and the weather continues to heat up, it is common to see more pedestrians and bicyclists making their way through Brooklyn streets and neighborhoods. Even though many consider it a healthy option, choosing this method of travel can result in devastating collisions.
Two internet media resources, OutsideOnline and BikeMaps.org, partnered to compile a detailed analysis of data gathered throughout the 2020 calendar year. While the information could be slightly skewed due to various pandemic lockdowns, the results were shocking.
- Drivers of motor vehicles killed 697 cyclists in 2020. More than 80% of those killed were men.
- More than a quarter of the fatal crashes, 26.3%, were hit-and-run collisions.
- Cyclist deaths were split nearly equally between suburban, rural and urban areas (31.9%, 33.1% and 35.0%, respectively).
While it might seem like common sense, the dramatic increase in bicyclist fatalities over the summer months was troubling. As the weather started to dramatically heat up from April (40 cyclist deaths) to May (66 cyclist deaths) riders often found themselves in perilous straits. At the height of the summer, July (84 cyclist deaths) and August (81 cyclist deaths) traffic collisions killed riders at an alarming rate.
Riders often only rely on helmets and thick clothing to protect them in a crash. Unfortunately, laws do not require the use of bicycle helmets in New York for riders past the age of 14. This means that any collision with a motor vehicle can result in catastrophic injuries or death for the bicyclist. Head trauma, spinal cord damage and amputation can all result following a collision, the rider striking the pavement and the rider being run over by the moving vehicle.