Riding a bicycle along New York City streets is more hazardous than at any time in the past 20 years. As of late October, 25 cyclists have been killed in 2019. That’s 15 more than in all of last year.
The rise in cyclist fatalities in New York mirrors a disturbing trend seen nationwide. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released its 2018 statistics showing cyclist and pedestrian fatalities at their highest levels since 1990.
Significant findings from NHTSA’s 2018 report
In 2018, an average of 17 pedestrians and two cyclists were killed each day across the United States in motor vehicle crashes. NHTSA’s report outlines these national stats:
- 6,283 pedestrians died in motor vehicle crashes, an increase of 3.4% over 2017
- 857 cyclists died, an increase of 6.3%
- Fatalities involving female cyclists surged by an alarming 29.2%
- Deaths of male cyclists increased by 3.2%
- Pedestrians and cyclists account for one out of every five crash fatalities
NYC deaths rise even after steps taken to improve safety
The disturbing rise in cyclist deaths in New York comes after city officials tried to make the streets safer for riders by building protected bike lanes, separating them from vehicles as well as redesigning intersections to improve safety.
The city is taking further steps to overhaul streets engineered for automobile traffic and by adjusting the times of traffic lights for the first time, giving green-light priority to cyclists, who typically travel at 10 mph to 15 mph compared to 25 mph for cars. Vehicles that travel faster will likely hit more red lights.
Concern focuses on urban areas
NHTSA reports cyclist deaths have risen by 48% in populated areas while even more alarming is an increase of 69% in pedestrian fatalities. Nationwide, an additional 71,396 pedestrians and cyclists were injured in 2017 in motor vehicle crashes. If you have been hurt, an experienced personal injury attorney here in New York will work to get you the compensation you deserve.