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Numbers About Bicycle Accidents


Six bicyclists have died this year in New York City. Are some neighborhoods in the city more dangerous for bicyclists than others? The Auto Insurance Center pulled some data from the city’s Open Data portal to try to answer that question.

Some details from the report: Bicycles are the most dangerous and vulnerable vehicles. More than three-quarters of accidents involving bicycles result in injuries. Scooters and motorcycles are also accident-prone. Taxi accidents are more likely to result in injuries than regular passenger cars, probably because drivers are not required to wear seatbelts, and many passengers who would ordinarily wear seatbelts do not wear them in taxis.

Although Queens is the worst borough for motor vehicle accident injuries, Brooklyn is the worst for bicyclists. This was determined based on the number of injured riders per 100 collisions. In Brooklyn, the rate is of injuries is 7.7 compared to 1.9 citywide. Within Brooklyn, the worst police precinct is the 88th in the Clinton Hill-Fort Greene neighborhood; the next worst is the 66th precinct, which includes Kensington and Midwood.

Lower Manhattan sees its share of bicycle accidents with injuries. The East Village and Greenwich Village are the third and fourth most dangerous neighborhoods for cyclists. The fifth most dangerous takes us back to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood.

When do bike accident happen? Not surprisingly, evening rush hour is when most bicycle accidents occur. According to police, many accidents are the result of rider error, such as running red lights.

Cyclists at fault in some cases: In March 2015, the NYPD wrote 14 cycling summonses in the 88th Precinct compared to two the previous March. Police say that many cyclist accidents cyclists running red lights.

However, riders are not the only reason for bicycle accidents. Driver inattention or distraction (such as texting) was a significant cause in all types of vehicle accidents.

Statistics tell only a part of the story. The report does not report on the number of catastrophic injuries compared to injuries that will heal, such as broken bones. That level of nuanced detail is seldom reported, even in a useful document such as the one discussed here.