Just as New York City drivers need to be aware of bicycles, fast-moving cyclists must take care to avoid hitting pedestrians. A recent accident involving a 4-year-old girl has drawn attention to the fact that bicycles, though they don’t have the same speed or weight as motor vehicles, can cause significant injuries if they strike someone on foot.
When young Mabel Jensen was sent to the emergency room after being hit by a careless cyclist in Riverside Park near 79th Street, many neighborhood residents were not surprised that the incident occurred. Serious collisions between cyclists and pedestrians have become commonplace, highlighting specific hazards that lead to these accidents, such as:
- Paths shared by bikes and walkers — As the city and private businesses such as Citi Bike and community groups act to increase bicycle ridership, it might be time to re-evaluate the sharing of paths in city parks by bicycles and pedestrians. Establishing separate thoroughfares or enforcing safe speed limits may cut down on harmful collisions.
- Curves and turns with limited vision — It’s not uncommon for a regular bike rider to reach 25 miles per hour if he or she has had a clear path. This lengthens the time it takes to brake and makes it much tougher to take quick evasive action when going around a curve or turn where vision is limited. The danger is enhanced because bicycles can’t always be heard coming.
- Disobeyed traffic signals — Bike lanes through some of the busiest Manhattan streets and elsewhere in the five boroughs make it much safer for people to ride to work or other destinations. However, even in these lanes, red lights and other traffic directions must be followed. Zooming illegally through an intersection creates a serious danger for people in the crosswalk.
Lacking any protection, pedestrians can suffer broken bones, concussions, internal injuries or other types of harm after being hit by a bike. No matter what the specific injury entails, reviewing your legal options with a qualified personal injury lawyer is a good first step toward collecting the compensation you deserve from a reckless cyclist.
[ln::firm_name] advocates for New York pedestrians who have been struck by bicycles and other vehicles. Please call us at [ln::phone] or contact us online for a free consultation regarding your potential case.