There is a rise in cyclist deaths from accidents occurring in New York City. There were more than 16 deaths of bicycle riders in 2016 and 15 accident-related deaths in 2015. The numbers of cyclists injured in car accidents and other vehicular accidents in the city numbers in the thousands in recent years.
One notable incident was that of a 78-year-old man who was a daily bike rider. He resided in Queens and ran an automotive shop in Flushing. In Aug 2016, he was riding his bike on Northern Boulevard and was struck down by a car being operated in the same direction.
That was the 16th cycling fatality in New York City in 2016, which surpassed the 15 for 2015, with several months of the year still remaining. There is no biking lane on that street even though the road is used by cyclists to get to one of the most popular bike routes in Queens. That is the Cross-Island Parkway bike trail in Bayside.
It is unknown whether the man’s estate filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit for monetary damages. Bicycle riders sometimes get short-changed in that there is a prejudice that they don’t belong on the streets. Police are sometimes known to infer the bicyclist or pedestrian was at fault instead of the vehicle operator. That is untenable, however, considering how many more bike riders are being added to the New York population each day, week and month.
The tendency to ignore the bicyclist’s position saves some police the trouble of doing an extensive investigation. The bias toward vehicles has deterred the rights of cyclists to be compensated by the negligent parties. This is wrong especially considering today’s comparative negligence system, which does not require the plaintiff to be totally free from negligence in order to collect. New York City car accidents involving cyclists must be investigated and treated the same as all other similar events. This will help to develop safety measures and to fairly compensate the injured and the families of those who have been killed.
Source: citylimits.org, “NoBackspace: Vision Zero Works When Victim-Blaming Stops and Accountability Starts“, Lisa Brown, Feb. 21, 2017