When a bicyclist crashes into a pedestrian, the hapless pedestrian can suffer devastating injuries. Even if they are initially able to walk away from the collision relatively unscathed — often due to the surge of adrenaline that people have in emergency situations — the pedestrians may experience pain and other adverse complications in the days and weeks following their dust-up with the bicyclist.

Dual-state study indicates decline

There is hope on the horizon for New York pedestrians, however. Scholars in both California and New York examined data of pedestrian injuries from encounters with cyclists in six- and seven-year periods, respectively.

What the researchers found was that in states on both coasts, the pedestrian injury rates from clashes with cyclists decreased steadily even while the rate of cyclists continued to climb. The decline was most prominent in those age 14 and younger.

From the data, they extrapolated that this could be that children have fewer exposures to bicyclists and also that the overall cycling infrastructure has improved in both states.

Methodology

Here in New York, the scholars based their research on patient-level hospital records from the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS). That agency comes under the umbrella of the state Department of Health (DOH).

More changes needed

It’s encouraging that the injury rates are declining, but that is no reason for the state to rest on its laurels. Additional and ongoing improvements made to the cycling infrastructure must continue.

One proven effective way to decrease the number on pedestrian-cyclist accidents is to introduce more protected bike lanes.

Education is important, too. Teaching the public via cycling safety campaigns focused on safety for all who use the roads — including pedestrians — can keep the accident rates dwindling downward.

Hit by a cyclist?

If you are walking and get struck by a bicyclist, it is important to fully understand your rights to compensation for your injuries under the personal injury laws of the state of New York.

In the majority of cases, criminal charges will not be filed, which means that justice must be meted out in the civil court system. Making a police report and gathering as much information at the scene as is possible, e.g., witness statements, names and contact information and pictures of the scene, can be used to bolster any subsequent claim for damages that you may decide to file.