News 4 New York reported today that the driver of a tractor-trailer made a right turn onto 56th Road at 48th Street in Sunnyside, Queens today and struck and killed a 34-year-old bicyclist, Anna Rodriguez, of Ridgewood. The truck driver was taken into custody by police at the scene.
We have blogged about the dangers of sharing the road with large commercial vehicles such as tractor-trailers. Bicyclists like Ms. Rodriguez are most often not at fault for truck/bicycle collisions as it is not uncommon for large vehicles to be unable to see small automobiles and bicyclists who are also using the roads. Bicyclists and other users of the roadways have to be especially vigilant and exercise extreme caution when a tractor-trailer or other large vehicle is close by.
Under New York City Traffic Rules §4-01 a bicycle is defined as a vehicle to which certain traffic rules apply. In particular, New York City Traffic Rule 4-12 requires, among other things, that bicyclists use a designated bicycle lane or path whenever one is provided except when preparing for a turn at an intersection or into a private road or except when reasonably necessary to avoid unsafe conditions.
All bicyclists should always wear a properly fitted helmet and bright colored, reflective clothing. Bicycles should contain reflective devices and should be fitted with appropriate lighting equipment, such as a flashing light, for use at night. Bicyclists should use hand signals whenever turning and ride with the flow of traffic. Bicyclists should always follow the rules of the road, obey stop lights and stop signs and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Bicyclists should be alert at all times and be especially careful when nearby vehicles have the option to make right or left turns.
Be safe whenever you are riding a bicycle, driving a car or just walking. Be careful and aware of your surroundings at all times. If you or a loved one were injured in a bicycle accident or as a pedestrian that was struck by a bicycle, call O’Dwyer & Bernstien today and speak to one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation at 800 471-2402.