Cyclist in NYC
Law

In the Midst of Covid-19, Car Accidents are Down, but Bike Accidents are Rising

New Yorkers are facing their stiffest test in many years, as the city has become the epicenter of the US coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Yet just as we did post 9/11 New Yorkers are collectively rising to the challenge.

While we are all working together to help restrain growth of the virus, life within the city is changing rapidly. Most of the changes are challenging our daily lives but one positive by-product is a significant  decline in auto accidents.

The month of March saw a remarkable decline in auto collisions, likely helped by lowered traffic density in the wake of Covid-19. The NYPD’s TrafficStat database shows a one-third decline in auto collisions over the second week of March.

On the other hand, TrafficStat statistics also show that bicycling accidents have actually increased over the same time period. There were 80 bike accidents resulting in an injury between March 9 and March 15 — a 43% increase over the same week in 2019.

So why are cyclists at greater risks while motorists and pedestrians are safer? It’s all about changing behavior.

New Yorkers are Forgoing the Subway for the Bike

Concern about spreading Covid-19 is leading thousands of city residents to avoid mass transit. Instead, they are picking up their bikes. A recent report in the New York Post stated:

“On Monday, 21,300 people rode bikes over the four East River bridges, according to city data shared with The Post, a whopping 52 percent more than an average day in March of last year, when ridership was just over 14,000 — albeit with temperatures that were about 12 degrees lower.”

Anecdotal reports from cyclists interviewed by the Post indicated that the streets are busier than ever for cyclists, as they seek a safer way to commute. Mayor Bill de Blasio helped spur this movement by advising city residents to avoid mass transit if possible, in order to prevent overcrowding.

Given the likelihood of increased restrictions on movement in the coming days and weeks, it’s hard to say whether this increased risk for cyclists will persist. At the least, however, it’s cause for New York cyclists to remain cognizant of the risks of the road.

While Covid-19 is a serious health risk, so are negligent motorists and property owners. New York recorded its worst year in the more than a decade in 2019 in terms of cyclist deaths.

Finding the Right Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident and were injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, you may wish to speak to an attorney. Consulting with a law firm focused on cycling accidents can help ensure that you are treated fairly and that you are fairly compensated for your losses or injuries.

At The Frankel Law Firm, we’ve helped New Yorkers who have been in serious accidents for more than 40 years. All consultations are free and all accident victim cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis which means that there will be no attorney’s fee unless you recover. Feel free to contact us at (212) 888-5100 or by using the contact form or instant messenger feature at www.frankellawfirm.com.

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