You see them everywhere in New York City. Those ubiquitous blue Citi Bikes are a huge hit. Bikers have enjoyed 65 million rides since 2013. However, bicycling on crowded city streets is not without risk and Citi Bike experienced its first rider fatality last summer.
A 36-year old investment banker lost his life last year while riding a Citi Bike on a Chelsea, Manhattan street. According to surveillance cameras, the rider, who was not wearing a helmet but did have headphones on, was traveling in a straight line when a coach bus traveling in the same direction struck and killed him.
The bus driver has pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to yield to a bicycle – a misdemeanor crime under New York’s right of way law – as well as failing to exercise due care and causing serious physical injury. If convicted, he faces 30 days in jail.
Overall Traffic Fatalities Down This Year in NYC
This year, New York City experienced 81 traffic deaths through June, the lowest level in recent years. Fatalities decreased in every mode of transportation except motorcycles.
During this time period, there were 7 bicyclist deaths, 3 fewer than the same period in 2017.
Bicycle Safety in New York
It is risky to ride a bicycle in NYC. Many vehicles including buses change lanes without warning and jump traffic lights. Bicyclists must be watchful for doors opening suddenly in their paths. Pedestrians may step off into a bicycle path without warning. A large part of the risk is the presence of larger vehicles that are not watchful for bicycles and that don’t yield way as required by law.
Although helmets are not required for riders under age 14, it’s a good idea for all bicyclists to wear a helmet. Distracted riding is just as dangerous as distracted driving and that includes wearing headphones while biking.
New York requires that motorists be vigilant of bicycles and:
· Keep bike lanes clear at all times – no parking, standing, stopping or driving on or across a bike lane.
· Not get out of a vehicle in a way that endangers cyclists, known as “dooring.”
· Exercise due care to avoid collisions with bicycles and give a warning with the car horn when necessary.
Let Us Know If You Have Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident
If you or a family member has been harmed by a bicycle accident, a car accident, truck accident, construction accident, slip and fall or any other type of personal injury, please contact StolzenbergCortelli, LLC Attorneys at Law immediately. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Howard Stolzenberg and Terrence James Cortelli, personal injury attorneys in White Plains, Nyack and New York City, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 800-494-0889 or contact us via the website.