Cycling fatalities have been trending upward in recent years, according to the US Department of Transportation. Across the United States, no city ranks more dangerous for cyclists than New York City. This may come as little surprise to cyclists across the city who complain of dangerous potholes, ignored cycling lanes, and distracted drivers. Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared that a recent upswing in deaths represents an emergency that must be addressed.
Cycling is a popular form of transportation in New York City. Many residents do not own vehicles, so traversing the city via bicycle is easy, affordable, and convenient. With so many cyclists on the road, one could assume that proper infrastructure is in place to support their needs. Although the city is not lacking in bicycle lanes, these lanes are often ignored by drivers and pedestrians alike. Fortunately, police are cracking down on violators in an effort to keep cycling lanes safe for all.
Sometimes, the problem is the cyclist. Courier cyclists are among the worst offenders. In an effort to quickly traverse the city, they maneuver in, out, and around traffic recklessly. They endanger themselves and others, and present cyclists in a negative light. Admittedly, in order to perform their job effectively they need to move rapidly from place to place. When speed comes before safety, however, lives can and will be lost.
This brings me to the topic of helmets. Helmets are not required in New York City for cyclists over 14 years of age. But we all know our brain is our most vital organ. The brain is soft and spongy, and in a crash can easily suffer damage. Despite tremendous advances in medicine, doctors can do little to repair the aftereffects of traumatic brain injury. In fact, we have learned that even minor concussions can lead to an increase in suicides, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease later in life.
Much of the dangers to cyclists exist due to dangerous and inattentive drivers. Drivers should be more cognizant of the rights of cyclists. The penalties for breaking laws that endanger the safety of cyclists should be increased so that these laws are no longer ignored. Across the city, changes need to be made to protect cycling for all.
If you have been hurt in a bicycle crash in New York City, you need to experienced professional on your side. At the Law Firm of Kass & Moses, we bridge the gap between medicine and the law. We work with your physicians and determine the extent of your injuries so that we can get you fair compensation. No amount of money can undo your pain and suffering, but we will do all we can to get you riding comfortably and confidently again. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.