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Motorcycles in New York City

Motorcycles in New York City

Millions of people travel to and from New York City each day for work. Their methods of transportation vary from public transportation, such as buses and trains, to personal vehicles and walking. An overlooked method of transportation for New Yorkers is motorcycles. However, according to the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Motorcycle Safety Study, the use of motorcycles for the purposes of commuting to work accounted for only 0.1% of transportation methods in 2014.

The use of motorcycles in New York City may be uncommon, however riding a motorcycle is often dangerous in a congested city such as New York. According to the DOT Motorcycle Safety Study, from 2010-2014, there were 197 motorcyclist fatalities in New York City. These fatalities accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities during this period. Shockingly, the fatal crash rate in New York City for motorcyclists was 89 per 100,000 registered motorcycles. This was almost double the fatal crash rate for motorcycles for the remainder of New York State, which was 46 per 100,000 registered motorcycles, and it was also higher than the national rate, which was 56 per 100,000 registered motorcycles during this time.

There are several factors that contribute to motorcycle safety, including:

  • Licensure of the motorcycle operator;
  • Age and gender of the motorcyclist;
  • Season and current weather conditions;
  • Time of day;
  • Experience of the rider; among others.

According to the New York City Department of Transportation Motorcycle Safety Study, approximately 43% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved a motorcyclist who was not properly licensed to operate the motorcycle. Also, the study states that 56% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were under the age of 35, while almost 100% of motorcyclists killed were males. Obtaining a class M (motorcycle) license is extremely important to ensure the safety of the motorcyclist and other motorists, alike. Younger motorists, regardless of the type of motor vehicle they drive, are at risk for higher accident rates because of careless or overly-confident demeanors. Driving with care and caution is the best way to protect yourself, your passengers and other motorists.

The weather and time of day are also contributing factors to fatal crashes. With motorcycles being smaller than the average vehicle, it is harder to see them, especially if they are being used during nighttime hours or in harsh weather conditions. According to the study, motorcycle accidents occurred more frequently during the afternoon and evening hours and increased during the summer months.

An experienced motorcyclist may have reduced risks of being involved in a fatal accident, however, they are not exempt. The best way to avoid accidents is to proceed with caution and to be alert and aware of the surrounding area and other motorists while operating the vehicle. By practicing safe driving techniques, one can potentially reduce the risk of being involved in a serious motorcycle accident. Nevertheless, many motorcycle accidents are caused by the negligence of other motorists and cannot be prevented through safe driving.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death because of an accident while operating a motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation. Goldberg Sager & Associates is experienced in dealing with all aspects of personal injury cases and is dedicated to helping clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Goldberg Sager & Associates at (347) 497-3245 for a free phone consultation.


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  • Brooklyn Office
    1628 Kings Highway at East 17th Street
    Brooklyn, New York 11229
    Phone: 718-645-6677