A 53-year-old bicyclist was injured when he was hit by a box truck in Corona, Queens on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Police and emergency services responded to the accident scene at the corner of 43rd Avenue and Junction Boulevard in Queens around 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The man, whose identity has not yet been released, is reported to be in critical condition at a local hospital.
No further information about the accident was available. We pray for a quick and full recovery for the injured victim.
On May 11, the City broke a record: there had been 58 days without any pedestrian deaths, the longest stretch of time since the City started tracking pedestrian fatalities in 1983. Since New York has been under stay-at-home orders since March 22, there have been less cars, cyclists, and pedestrians on the streets, leading to a decline in accidents.
Unfortunately, the lack of congested streets also means many drivers are taking liberties while driving on the nearly empty roads. NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said that the DOT has issued double the number of speeding violations than they typically do during this time. Trottenberg urged citizens to remain alert while out walking or biking, even if there are less cars on the streets.
Although we do not know exactly what caused the accident above, we know that many accidents are caused by a lack of attention to the road and general surroundings, whether on the part of the pedestrian or driver (or both). According to the New York DOT, cyclists “have all the rights and are subject to all the duties and regulations applicable to drivers and motor vehicles.” However, it is important to remember that even if cyclists are held to the same standards and rules of the road as motor vehicles, cars are driving at a much higher rate of speed than bikers, in vehicles that are much larger and heavier than bikes are. Cyclists also have much less protection than anyone in a vehicle does; on a bike, the best protection a cyclist can have is wearing a helmet.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association provides many safety tips for cyclists and drivers to ensure they share the road without incident and reach their destination as safely as possible. For drivers specifically, these include:
- Yield to bicyclists just as you would another driver
- Do not underestimate a cyclist’s speed
- If you are turning right on red, look behind you and to the right to avoid hitting a biker approaching behind you in your blind spot
- Give cyclists room; pass them only when it is safe to move into the other lane
- In general, drive defensively and obey the speed limit while staying alert to avoid a crash with a cyclist
As the NHTSA states, a large percentage of crashes could be avoided if motorists and cyclists simply watch out for each other and follow the rules of the road.
If you are a bicyclist and have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact a bike accident lawyer who can discuss the facts of your case and help you determine the best legal course of action. The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have obtained over a billion dollars for our clients in various kinds of personal injury cases, including a record-breaking $110 million verdict for a cyclist in Bushwick who was paralyzed when he was struck by a falling object.