Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in New York City

In New York City, 2019 was the deadliest year for bicyclists since 2000. While bicycle accident rates have been down lately due to the lack of cyclists and cars on the road as a result of the coronavirus, we have not seen the end of bicycle fatalities. There are some common causes of bicycle accidents in NYC, including:


Distracted Driving

One of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in NYC is distracted driving. Drivers who are on their phones and not focusing on the road can fail to see bicyclists. More than half of drivers admit to texting while driving or checking their email instead of paying attention to the road. Programming navigation systems or even just changing the radio station can be dangerous distractions. The lower profile of a bicyclist makes it more likely that a distracted driver will fail to notice a bicycle on the road and cause an accident.


Failure to Yield the Right of Way

Bicyclists and pedestrians have the right of way over other vehicles. When a driver fails to yield this right of way, a serious accident can occur. It’s a common driving mistake that can lead to fatal results. Failure to yield accidents typically occur at intersections, which are the most dangerous points in a bicyclist’s journey.


Dooring occurs when a driver or a driver’s side passenger opens their door into an oncoming bicyclist. Even at low speeds, dooring can cause a bicyclist to flip over their handlebars and sustain a serious injury. Dooring accidents usually occur when a bicyclist hits or is hit by an open door or when a cyclist swerves into another vehicle to avoid the open door. New York law prohibits opening a door into traffic until it is safe to do so and leaving a door open into traffic for longer than is necessary. In addition, according to New York City traffic rules, people are not permitted to exit vehicles on the traffic side in a way that would interfere with bicyclists.

Side Swiping

Side swiping occurs when a driver fails to give a bicyclist enough room when passing or going around. Drivers should give cyclists plenty of room. Protected bike lanes can go a long way toward preventing side swiping.


Contact a New York Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you should have your case evaluated by an experienced bicycle accident attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have been helping accident victims for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.