In New York, it is not uncommon for residents to ride bicycles. Whether you do it for recreation, traveling to work or exercise, there are precautions you need to take to avoid an accident. While drivers are supposed to keep an eye out for cyclists, in New York, most residents are too concerned with getting from one point to another – they may not worry much about the bicycles and pedestrians they encounter in between.
Luckily, there are precautions you can take to avoid an accident while enjoying your bike this spring season in the city.
Tips for Riding on the Road
It is within your legal right to ride your bike on the road, and motorists are required to share the road with you. In New York, you cannot always use the sidewalk to ride your bike; therefore, you may be limited to riding in the bicycle lane or off to the side of the road with motor vehicles. When you are riding on the road, even on a bike, you should always follow any special rules outlined for cyclists. Some things you can do to avoid an accident include:
- Yield to oncoming traffic anytime you are entering the roadway. This includes entering the road from a parking lot or your own driveway. Motorists may not be expecting traffic from that entry point; therefore, they may not see you.
- Ride alongside traffic rather than against it. Drivers never expect to see traffic coming from the opposite direction – so doing so could be hazardous. This is especially true when you are riding a thinner bicycle.
- Ride in a uniform, predictable manner. Do not make sudden maneuvers in front of traffic and try to stay in a straight line. If you look ahead for hazards, you can give yourself time to maneuver around them – that way you are not accidentally veering into traffic and causing an accident.
Tips for Riding at Night
With the warmer temperatures, you may take advantage of the weather and ride your bike at night. Despite the lighting in downtown New York, it is still harder to see cyclists at night. If you are going to ride after dark, here are a few tips:
- Wear brightly colored clothing so that vehicles can see you. If you do not have brightly colored clothes, wear a jacket or helmet with reflective strips so that vehicles can make out your bike at night.
- Add a headlight and rear reflector to your bike so that vehicles can spot you. This will add ease of visibility to your bicycle, especially when you must make turns along your commute.
- Never drink and ride a bike. Being intoxicated while riding a bike can slow your reaction times, and even cause reckless driving behaviors, that can lead to deadly accidents.
Were You Injured in a Bicycle Accident?
If you were seriously injured while riding your bicycle due to motorist negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. today regarding your bicycle accident. You can schedule a consultation at 1-877-737-4806 or ask a legal question online via our online contact form.