With over a half million New Yorkers riding bikes and the number of cyclists on the rise, the chances of being involved in a bicycle accident in New York City are growing. The New York City Department of Transportation encourages and promotes commuter cycling as an alternative to automobiles and even its own subways and buses, and many more workers in the City, such as couriers and restaurant delivery employees, rely on bicycles to perform their jobs.
Vulnerable to Negligence, Road Hazards
Just as with motorcycle riders, bicycle riders are exposed and vulnerable to serious personal injury or wrongful death from collision with a motor vehicle. However, cyclists are even more at risk than motorcycle riders. The bicycle offers less protection than the motorcycle, and bicycle riders wear less protective clothing. The bicycle is smaller and quieter than the motorcycle and may be harder to notice for the driver of a car or truck.
Just as motorcyclists may fall prey to careless or aggressive drivers, bicyclists run an even greater danger of being crowded or forced off the road, where they can lose their balance and go into a flip or spill. An aggressive driver who quickly whips around a slow-moving cyclist may be thoughtless to the fact that the car behind may not yet be aware that there is a bicycle immediately ahead.
Another danger shared by motorcycles and bicycles alike are road defects and debris blown onto the surface by construction sites. Bicycles are even more sensitive to small changes in road conditions than motorcycles, and the cyclist has less handling ability and maneuverability than the biker.
Safe Cycling Helps, but is Not Always Enough
Like automobile drivers and others, cyclists are subject to the rules of the road and are expected to know the laws and to ride with ordinary, reasonable care. Safe cycling includes riding with predictable behavior and signaling intentions well in advance to the extent possible, barring emergency situations requiring fast evasive action. The prudent cyclist will also wear a helmet and other available safety gear. Working cyclists in particular should be aware of the laws requiring particular apparel and safety equipment.
Bike maintenance is usually the responsibility of the owner, although the business owner may have this responsibility for bike employees. Even if properly cared for, an equipment failure may still occur if the bike was manufactured defectively or improperly assembled by the bike shop or dealership. Driver negligence, roadway defects, and products liability may all play a part in a bicycle accident, and it is important that you hire an attorney who understands the importance of an early and thorough investigation to a successful financial recovery. Leandros A. Vrionedes is an experienced personal injury lawyer who appreciates this fact and works hard to hold all responsible parties accountable for the negligent behavior and achieve a maximum recovery for his clients. If you or a loved one has been involved in a New York City bicycle accident, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C.