If you have lived in New York City for any period of time, you know just how bad the bumper-to-bumper traffic can be. Many of us in New York find driving takes to much time and hassle and prefer alternative forms of transportation, such as bicycling. That being said, bicycling amongst motorists can be dangerous or even deadly.
Past statistics on bicycle fatalities
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2020, 938 bicyclists were killed in the U.S. after being struck by a motor vehicle. Most bicycle fatalities took place between June and September when the weather is warmer. Almost 75% of all fatal bicycle accidents took place in urban areas such as New York City.
The most common cause of fatal bicycle accidents involved a failure to yield. The second most common cause of fatal bicycle accidents involved a motorist failing to see the bicyclist.
How can motorists safely share the road with bicyclists?
Motorists can take several steps to avoid causing a bicycle crash. First, motorists should yield to the bicyclist’s right of way in the same way they would yield to another motorist’s right of way. Motorists should also avoid turning in front of a bicyclist especially at intersections.
Motorists should always practice bicycle awareness. This means looking for bicyclists at intersections, when reversing and when parking. If turning right on red, motorists should look to their right and behind them in case there is a bicyclist there.
Motorists should make room on the road for bicyclists. This means not passing bicyclists too closely. Motorists should only pass when it is safe to move over into the next lane of traffic.
Drive cautiously, drive defensively
If motorists are cautious and pay attention to their surroundings, they can safely share the road with bicyclists. Bicyclists should not be put in harms way just because they choose an alternative form of transportation.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident caused by a motorist, you will want to make sure you seek the help you need to decide whether you want to try to pursue compensation against the motorist who injured you.