MANHATTAN, New York — The number of injuries bicycle riders sustained from March 9 through March 15 shot up 43 percent, according to nycstreetsblog.org. The Mayor of New York City strongly encouraged commuters to find alternate means of transportation to and from work daily instead of cramming onto MTA trains as a method of trying to get the spread of the coronavirus to flatten out. City dwellers heeded the Mayor’s call. Aided by a warmer than usual March, people started renting bikes in droves and flooded NYC’s crowded — and sometimes unwelcoming — streets just to avoid the subway. The response to the Mayor’s call has dramatically increased the number of bikes on the street and has highlighted how dangerous the City’s streets could be in the absence of much-needed infrastructure improvements.
The data generated by the New York City Police Department suggests that 80 people sustained injuries while riding bicycles in a week. Exactly one year ago, there were 56 bicycle riders hurt in collisions with cars.
The difference is staggering, especially considering that fewer vehicles are driving in the City. People who work in the City are staying home or have been laid off because of the spread of COVID-19. The NYPD calculated that the total number of collisions had decreased 33.1 percent from one year ago.
Bike riders appear to be suffering more severe injuries than other road users. Drivers have sustained injuries at a rate of 27.6 percent than last year, and pedestrians have been injured at a rate of 17 percent less than 2019 at this time. Bicycle riders, on the other hand, have suffered 22 percent more injuries than in 2019.
The NYPD indicates that drivers’ inattention and motorists failing to yield to bike riders causes the most significant number of bike crashes. Furthermore, NYPD says that in 90 percent of collisions involving cars and bikes, the vehicle operator is at fault.
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