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Improving safety for cyclists in New York

Few road users are as vulnerable as cyclists. This is particularly true in bustling cities with congested streets like New York. According to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 726 cyclists were killed and a further 50,000 suffered injuries from cyclist/motor vehicle crashes in 2014. However, hospital records reveal that only about one in 10 bicycle accidents is reported to the authorities. Road safety experts say that the true number of injuries is almost certainly much higher.

Only about 1 percent of road trips in the United States are made on bicycles. However, cyclists make up 2 percent of those killed in U.S. traffic accidents. Cycling is often seen as a pursuit of the young, but the average age of the cyclists killed on the roads in 2014 was 45. Almost 75 percent of the fatal accidents involving cyclists occurred in urban areas, and nearly 90 percent of the victims were men. Alcohol was determined to have been a factor in about 35 percent of the crashes.

About one-third of the injuries suffered by cyclists are caused by collisions with cars. However, falls, poor road surfaces and rider errors are also common causes of cuts, bruises and broken bones. Experts say that the safety of cyclists can be protected by increasing the number of designated bicycle lanes and mounting public awareness campaigns that remind motorists to remain vigilant and urge cyclists to wear helmets.

Cyclists are usually active individuals, and they may have great difficulty adjusting life after being injured in a cyclist/motor vehicle crash. An attorney may take these challenges into consideration when filing a lawsuit on a cyclist's behalf. A lawyer could seek damages to cover the costs of long-term physical and psychological therapy as well as compensation for lost income.

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