What is the most dangerous NYC borough for bicyclists?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2023 | Bicycle Accidents |

Each of the five boroughs has slightly different traffic conditions and communities that call those boroughs home. People often live in one borough and then commute to work in another. They may also plan to visit or socialize with friends in areas where they neither work nor live.

Anyone planning to get to their destination by bicycle is likely aware that cyclists can and do get hurt and killed in traffic in New York. There are multiple car-bicycle collisions every day that lead to injuries, as well as a handful of fatal cycling crashes every year. Choosing the right place to go for a bike ride could have a major impact on someone’s safety.

Which of the five boroughs is actually the most dangerous for cyclists?

Which borough receives the title depends on the criteria

Determining which borough is the most dangerous for cyclists can be a challenge. People tend to have different perspectives on which statistics are the most important. The two figures that people tend to focus on the most when analyzing safety in different areas are the rate of injury and the number of fatalities that occur.

When looking at a review of fatal collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles in 2021, there are two boroughs that could claim the ignoble title of most dangerous for cyclists. Based on traffic fatalities, Manhattan is the most dangerous borough, as six cyclists lost their lives there in 2021. Staten Island saw no cyclist deaths, while the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens each saw three cyclist deaths.

In terms of injury risk, Brooklyn takes first place. There were 1,818 cyclist injuries reported in 2021 in Brooklyn. Manhattan had the second-highest number, with 1,320 injuries. Queens had 859 reported cyclist injuries, while the Bronx had 537. Staten Island was clearly the safest borough for cyclists in 2021, as there were only 84 reported injuries that year.

How can cyclists protect themselves?

It obviously isn’t possible for those who work as bicycle delivery professionals or those who commute everywhere on their bicycles to simply avoid Manhattan and Brooklyn or to only ride in Staten Island. However, when cyclists do need to travel on roads in the more dangerous boroughs, they can adjust their habits to reflect their increased degree of risk.

Being more cautious about crossing intersections and approaching stopped vehicles in dangerous areas could protect someone from a collision or dooring incident that could result in severe consequences. Many crashes are the fault of the person in the motor vehicle, which means that the injured cyclist has the right to file an insurance claim or pursue a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for their losses.