How Unmaintained Bike Lanes Cause New York Accidents

Lever & Ecker, PLLC May 2, 2022 Personal injury

Bike lanes are portions of the road exclusively dedicated to cyclists for their safety. While these sections are supposed to protect riders from the dangers of the road, unmaintained and poorly maintained bike lanes can be incredibly dangerous, and can cause severe cyclist accidents. Dangers in the bike lanes, such as objects and potholes, can cause cyclists to fall or dart dangerously into traffic. 

While vehicles are dangerous to cyclists, unmaintained bike lanes also greatly increase the risk of severe and even life-threatening harm to riders. New Yorkers have expressed their concern about increasing cyclist fatalities to government officials. Nevertheless, unsafe bike lanes continue to be the cause of severe bicycle injuries. 

3 Ways Unmaintained Bike Lanes Cause Accidents in New York

A bike lane provides cyclists a designated area separate from the main vehicle roadway. However, the lane’s frequent proximity to vehicles still causes problems for bicyclists, and when a bike lane is unmaintained or poorly maintained, the biker’s pathway becomes even more dangerous. Consider the following ways an improperly maintained bike lane can cause a severe accident to a bicyclist in New York:

Sharp Debris 

Nails, glass, and other debris can damage a bicycle and cause a rider to lose control. Sharp objects can easily pop a tire, causing the rider to fall and possibly suffer severe injuries in the process, including from the fall, from other cyclists, and from vehicles.  

Blocked Pathways

Cyclists can move at fast speeds that make it challenging to stop abruptly. Trash, accident debris, and other large objects in a bicycle pathway may force the rider to hit the item or move out into dangerous traffic attempting to take evasive action. No matter how the cyclist tries to avoid the danger, they may fall or otherwise suffer severe injuries in the process.

Dangerous Intersections

One of the most dangerous areas for cyclists is intersections. Unmaintained, poorly maintained, or deficiently marked bike lanes increase the likelihood that unaware drivers will accidentally hit cyclists. A few examples of ways in which drivers can cause accidents at intersections are not coming to a complete stop, turning without checking, and switching lanes. 

Many cyclists have shared their concern and frustration with New York’s Departments of Transportation (NYSDOT) and Sanitation (DSNY) for their lack of bike lane care and upkeep. To pick up the slack, various communities have come together to clean and repair these bike lanes on their own.

What to Do After an Unmaintained Bike Lane Accident?

Cyclists are extremely vulnerable to serious injuries due to their lack of safety equipment and close proximity to large vehicles. After an accident involving an unmaintained bike lane, extensive research and documentation may be required to establish that someone or something else was at fault for the accident. The below steps may make a significant difference in establishing an accident claim:

  • Seek Medical Attention
  • Contact Local Authorities
  • Collect Other Party’s Information
  • Gather Evidence
  • Speak with Your Lawyer

Handling a bicycle accident claim alone comes with many challenges and may risk your recoverable compensation. With an experienced bicycle accident lawyer, you will have someone by your side protecting your rights and offering honest advice.

Contact Lever & Ecker, PLLC for an Experienced New York Bicycle Accident Lawyer

The treatment costs, hospital bills, and other financial losses you suffer in a bicycle accident may burden you and your family. You deserve to recover from your injuries in peace and without the added stress of an injury claim. Our Lever & Ecker, PLLC bicycle accident lawyers have 60+ years of combined experience protecting our clients’ rights. With award-winning legal representation, you can trust our lawyers to provide you with the best possible outcome for your claim. We will provide the resources and connections you need for a smooth claim process.

Schedule a free consultation today by calling (914) 288-9191 or (718) 933-3632 and filling out our contact form.