Social distancing and quarantine requirements in place during the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak here in the United States have indirectly contributed to a dramatic increase in the number of bicycle accidents in New York City. Indeed, with the incredible decrease in the number of people using mass transit and avoiding ridesharing and taxi cabs for fear of spreading the virus, the number of people who have begun to use alternative methods of transportation through New York City (including riding bicycles) is exploding. Unfortunately, with that ridership increase comes a dramatic increase in the number of accidents as well.
Data collected by The New York City Police Department shows that since the city changed its lifestyle habits beginning on or around March 9th, the number of bicycle accidents in New York has increased by 43%. Safety advocates say that Mayor de Blasio’s recommendation that people bike to work was well-meaning but put strain on an infrastructure that has repeatedly been called unfriendly and even hostile to bicyclists.
That 43% translates to 80 actual bicycle injuries–most of which were relatively minor when compared to last year’s figures for the same time frame.
What’s strange is that those same NYPD stats show that the sheer number of people on city streets during that timeframe decreased dramatically. Indeed, that decluttering of NYC’s roadways contributed to an overall decrease in collisions of roughly 33% (or 1/3).
Why then are so many more bicyclists being injured? Some say it could be related to operator error–people unused to riding on city streets contributing to their own injuries because of their inexperience. Others say that the drivers who remain on the street still aren’t paying attention to cyclists. The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle.
If you’ve been injured in a collision while riding in the city, for the compensation you deserve, contact an experienced New York City bicycle accident attorney as soon as you’re able. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free over-the-phone consultation.