Driving in New York City can be a hassle and taking a cab, bus or subway to work every day can be expensive. Sometimes the easiest and most cost-effective way to navigate the streets of New York is by walking or bicycling. However, bicyclists and pedestrians are losing their lives at the hands of careless and negligent drivers.

The New York Times reports that according to the N.Y.C. Department of Transportation in 2019, 28 bicyclists and 124 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents. The New York Times examined city crash data and found that oftentimes these crashes were caused by motorists who were distracted, failed to yield to the bicyclist’s right of way or were speeding.

What is causing the uptick in fatal pedestrian and bicycle accidents?

The New York Times reports that according to N.Y.C. Police crash data, distracted driving contributed to 33 fatal pedestrian or bicyclist accidents in New York City in 2019 and 26 fatal pedestrian or bicycle accidents were a result of a motorist’s failure to yield to the bicyclist’s or pedestrian’s right of way. Speeding was a contributing factor in five accidents involving a pedestrian or bicyclist in 2019. Alcohol use contributed to five fatal pedestrian or bicycle accidents in 2019, as did backing unsafely.

The type of vehicle being driven also played a role in the rising number of fatal pedestrian or bicyclist accidents in New York City in 2019. SUVs and station wagons were involved in 40% of fatal pedestrian and cyclist accidents in New York City in 2019. Larger vehicles weigh more than a standard automobile and thus are more likely to cause a fatality if they strike and unprotected pedestrian or bicyclist.

Bicycle accident victims in New York included people of any age, gender and economic status, ranging from a 10-year-old Brooklyn child to a pediatrician from Manhattan. The New York Times reports that Brooklyn has seen the most cyclist fatalities at 60% of bicycle fatalities. Pedestrian and bicyclist injuries caused by traffic accidents are also on the rise at 60,000 injuries in 2019 versus 50,000 in 2014.

Seek help following a fatal bicycle or pedestrian crash

These numbers are concerning to anyone who walks or bikes to work every day in New York City. Unfortunately, despite initiatives to curb the rising tide of fatal pedestrian and bicyclist accidents, these types of accidents will occur. If your loved one lost their life in an accident due to a negligent driver, it may be time to consider taking legal action. Our firm can inform you about your legal rights and options in such situations.