Long Island biking statistics often ignored

by William Mattar | October 1st, 2018

The New York Parks and Long Island Region Safety departments report approximately 50 deaths to New York residents due to bicycle crashes and 2200 bicyclists New York bicyclists who require hospitalization for serious injuries. Brain injuries are responsible for about 40 percent of these hospitalizations. Overall, 75 percent of U.S. bicyclists hospitalized for head/brain injuries. Only 33 percent of those bicyclists have a chance for recovering without suffering some kind of disability.

Why Do So Many Long Island Bicyclists Get Hit By Vehicles?

Many drivers do not realize bicyclists have the same rights as drivers. This is one of the main reasons Long Island drivers put bicyclists at risk for injury. For example: (from BikeLeague.org):

  • The state of NY requires car and truck drivers to pass bicyclists the same way they pass cars. They should pass bicyclists on the left and at safe distances
  • Passengers or drivers are prohibited from opening vehicle doors into areas available to all moving traffic, including bicyclists, until it is safe to do so. Also, car owners are not permitted to leave doors open where traffic is moving by for periods no longer than it takes to unload or load passengers or items.
  • Bicyclists have all the rights and duties afforded to vehicle drivers. However, the law does not consider bicycles as vehicles as defined by the law

Texting, eating, intoxication, daydreaming and reckless driving are other reasons for vehicle-caused bicycle accidents in Long Island.

Tips to Increase Road Safety as a Long Island Bicyclist

  • Obey traffic markings, lights and signs
  • Wear a helmet
  • Travel on the right side of the ride. Never ride against traffic and always ride in single file with other bicyclists
  • Stay vigilant for opening car doors or vehicles pulling out of parking lots and alleys
  • When making turns, use hand signals so the driver behind you knows which way you are turning
  • Equip bicycles with taillights and headlights for night-time bicycling. Consider wearing reflective clothing or bands in addition to using bicycle lights

Although most bicyclists practice safe, defensive bicycling practices, there will always be vehicle drivers who fail to practice good driving habits. If you or a loved one was hit by a driver while bicycling and sustained serious physical injuries, call William Mattar today to schedule a consultation appointment with an experienced bicycle accident attorney. Compensation may be available to pay for your damages.