What are the Most Common Causes of Bike Accidents in NYC?

Riding a bicycle in New York City is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, a good way to stay fit and an environmentally friendly way to travel. Knowing the common causes of bike accidents can help you be safe while cycling in the city. Always ride defensively.

Bicycle riders have little protection when hit by a larger vehicle. As a result, they may suffer serious, even fatal, injuries. Those who survive bike accidents may find themselves permanently disabled or facing a long recovery.

A bicycle accident lawyer in NYC at Douglas and London protects your rights and can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

NYC Bike Accidents

In 2019, New York City saw the number of bicycle fatalities rise to 27, a tremendous increase from the 10 people killed the previous year. New York City launched its Vision Zero program back in 2014, reducing the speed limit to 25 miles per hour and adding 100 miles of bike lanes. However, the death rate for cyclists in 2019 was the highest in 20 years. In 2019, 3,835 crashes between cyclists and drivers resulting in injury or death were reported. Brooklyn and Manhattan saw the highest number of bike accidents.

Drivers are twice as likely to be at fault for these collisions than cyclists. An accident between a car or truck and a bike rider may cause little or no damage to the motor vehicles or occupants while killing or severely injuring the cyclist. If a large truck hits a cyclist, death may occur from the bike rider falling beneath the wheels rather than the actual impact.

Aggressive Driving

New York drivers are notoriously impatient. As a result, an aggressive driver may think cyclists are slowing them down and may display dangerous driving behavior toward bike riders. 


Far too often, those exiting a vehicle on the street side fail to look or do not see a cyclist approaching. Dooring refers to suddenly opening the driver or passenger side door and striking a cyclist or other party. This can also drive the cyclist into the path of another vehicle.

Failure to Yield

Sixty percent of bike accidents happen at intersections, according to Vision Zero. That’s often due to failure to yield the right-of-way on the part of a driver. Motorists may not see a cyclist or ignore the rules of the road.


A driver going too fast has a difficult time yielding or stopping in time for a bicyclist.

Distracted Driving

Too many drivers simply are not paying attention to the road. While cell phones are a frequent culprit, distracted driving occurs for various reasons. Whatever the cause, the result is death or injury to the cyclist the driver was too distracted to notice.

The Right Hook

Right hook refers to all too common NYC bike accident cause. The scenario involves a motorist hitting a cyclist going in the same direction when the vehicle passes the bike and makes a right turn.

Riding at Night

For obvious reasons, riding a bike at night is more dangerous than during daylight hours. Motorists may not see a cyclist until it is too late. Always wear light-colored and reflective clothing when riding at night. Equip your bike with light for visibility.

Poor Road Conditions

New York City is notorious for potholes, the cause of many bike accidents. Other harmful road conditions contributing to accidents include debris in the street, slippery pavement, or inadequate lane marking.

Contact a New York City Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a bicycle accident due to another party’s negligence or recklessness, you need the services of an experienced New York City personal injury lawyer at Douglas and London. Schedule a free consultation today by calling or texting us 24/7 or submitting our online form

After reviewing your case, we will discuss your options. There is no fee unless you receive compensation. Hablamos Español.