April 25, 2016
Safety Tips to Avoid a Bike Accident in New York
By Jonathan Damashek
Spring is finally here and New York is blooming. For almost everyone, this is the perfect time of the year to ride a bike. Whether it is to commute to work or enjoy one’s free time, more New Yorkers are choosing this convenient, cost-efficient and healthier type of transportation than ever before.
Although New York has greatly improved its cycling system and cycling risk statistics have significantly decreased in the past year, there are still many motor drivers who step into bike lanes or open car doors without looking back and potentially injuring many cyclists who are cautiously riding their bikes.
Below you’ll find a list of safety tips you should take into account when cycling around the city:
Find bike lanes before you go
Although you can cycle all around the city (as long as you ride on traffic direction), using bike lanes is always a safer option. There are many apps that will help you find the best lanes to go where you need to, starting with Google Maps Bicycle’s feature.
Make drivers and pedestrians aware of your presence
Get a loud bell and use it, this is the best way to alert pedestrians that you (and them) are on the bike lane. Put lights on your bike (white in front, red in back) and use them. If you cycle at night, wear a reflector vest too.
Wear a helmet
Although not legally required for those over 13 in New York, it’s always the safest option.
Follow basic rules of traffic
Don’t forget that, even though you are on a bike, you count as a vehicle so you should drive accordingly. Respect traffic lights, never use sidewalks, yield to pedestrians, and cycle on traffic direction.
Wear comfortable clothes
Wear practical pieces for the severity of city biking. Women should avoid sandals or dresses and men, if possible, should avoid suits. If wearing pants, try using a band to keep the fabric close to your skin to prevent them from getting tangled to the bike.
Always remain alert and do not rush
Do not use your phone while cycling. Look at all directions while crossing avenues and streets. Be prepared to encounter doors opening unexpectedly, texting motor drivers and pedestrians, bumpy roads, or unclear signage.
Bicycling is on the rise in New York, but so are the accidents involving bikes and motor vehicles. If you or a family member has been injured in a bike accident, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you and your loved ones and fight for your rights.