Bicycle riding remains a preferred way to get around New York’s metropolitan areas. While the monetary costs may be less expensive than driving a car, riding a bicycle around New York comes with risks. Data shows that bicyclists suffer more crashes now than in previous years, and driver negligence is often the reason.
Sobering facts about bicycle accidents
2019 saw the tragic consequences of bicycle accidents, as 27 people lost their lives after colliding with vehicles. That number reflects 17 more deaths than what occurred in 2018. Little indicates that New York City is now entirely safe for bicyclists since many dangers persist. Namely, numerous drivers make mistakes behind the wheel that cost people their lives.
New York City officials did take steps to improve safety through its Vision Zero program. The program established 100 miles of bike lanes and reduced speed limits. While the program likely had a positive effect in many ways, the program can’t keep all drivers from behaving recklessly behind the wheel.
Driver liability and bicycle crashes
Several factors contribute to fatal bicycle accidents involving vehicles. While many bicyclists share all or some fault for several collisions, there are incidents when the driver is at fault entirely. Tragically, when a driver causes a crash, the chances of a bicyclist’s death increase.
Not surprisingly, larger vehicles could inflict greater injuries than smaller ones. That’s not to say a car can’t cause fatal harm, but bicyclists likely face greater risks from SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks.
Surviving family members may bring a wrongful death suit against anyone whose negligence causes a fatal accident. Auto insurance policies might cover such catastrophic losses, although survivors could sue beyond the policy and seek more substantial compensation.