More and more people are using bicycles to get around in New York and throughout the United States. While that is beneficial to their health, saves money and is a positive for the environment, sharing the road with automobiles carries with it an inherent danger for a crash with severe injuries and death.
There have been increased efforts to make the roads safer for everyone with initiatives like Vision Zero – a program with the lofty goal of eliminating road fatalities. Still, riders are at constant risk. The concern only grows when assessing the most recent numbers.
Study shows bicyclist deaths are increasing
According to Transportation Alternatives, New York City is on its way to having the most rider deaths in nearly a quarter century. The latest numbers say there have been 183 traffic deaths in the city in 2023 with 25 being bicyclists. This is a 58% increase than the start of Vision Zero in 2014.
Since Vision Zero was implemented, 200 bicyclists have lost their lives in an accident. Overall, there have been more than 2,300 fatalities in auto accidents. Ninety-four percent of riders lost their lives on streets that were devoid of protected bicycle lanes.
These lanes have been credited for lowering the number of road deaths for everyone on the road. There is a disparity between the number of bicycle lanes that have been added when compared to how many people are using bicycles to get around.
A positive note is that pedestrian safety seems to be improving. Through September, New York had the best year in terms of pedestrian deaths since the advent of Vision Zero. Specific types of vehicles are statistically prone to causing more damage. This is the case with SUVs and other large vehicles.
People need to know what to do after an auto accident
Despite safety initiatives, the roads are seemingly more problematic than ever. Drivers are reckless, distracted and ignore traffic laws. This puts everyone in jeopardy, but is particularly worrisome for bicyclists and pedestrians who are accorded no protection if they are in a crash.
When there is a motor vehicle accident, those who were hurt will likely have medical bills, lose time on the job and face the prospect of a radically changed life. Family members whose loved one was killed with be confronted with a host of other challenges as they strive to move forward. It is natural to have questions as the aftermath can be emotional and confusing.