Eight people were killed and nearly a dozen injured this past Tuesday October 30th 2017 when a man identified by law enforcement as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov drove down a busy bicycle path in a rented pickup truck near the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York City. Though this truck attack appears to be an intentional act of terrorism, it highlights the vulnerabilities of bicycle lanes and paths in cities throughout the United States. Addressing these issues may be a step toward decreasing the frequency of auto-bicycle accidents.
Bike Lanes / Paths
Over the past several decades, more bike lanes and paths have been integrated into city planning, encouraging children and adults of all ages to feel free riding their bicycles for exercise and transportation within the urban landscape. City planners incorporate bicycle lanes within the cityscape utilizing curbs, plastic posts, planters and parked cars, but this may not be enough.
Bicyclists should always be vigilant and aware when approaching intersections with automobile traffic while on a bike path. These are vulnerable areas where factors like distracted driving regularly cause auto-bicycle accidents. The main issue which led to this most recent tragedy in Manhattan was that the entryway was wide enough to accommodate a motor vehicle to enter the “safe” zone designated for bicyclists and pedestrians. This caught many bicyclists and pedestrians completely off guard and causing these casualties and severe catastrophic injury. One solution which has worked to protect pedestrian areas from similar vulnerabilities may be to install durable protective bollards at all of the intersections and entryways which would enable a bicycle to enter, but not a motor vehicle.
Stay Aware / Ride Defensively
As a bicyclist or pedestrian, your best line of defense will always be to keep your head up, stay aware of your surroundings and ride defensively. Not only will this help to prevent collisions with pedestrians or other bike riders, it may save your life if a truck or car finds its way into the bike path intentionally or accidentally.
Contact A Skilled New Bedford Auto-Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an auto-bicycle accident due to the negligence of a distracted driver please contact The Law Office of Dussault & Zatir to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We’ll help you to get the compensation that you deserve.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.