Spring or fall, New York City is a great place to ride a bicycle. However, despite the Big Apple’s numerous bike-friendly parks and paths, the city streets can be perilous for even the most adept rider. With such a harsh winter behind you, you may be itching to get back onto your bike. But before you do so, consider the dangers and take steps to protect yourself.
Did you know that in 2012 there were 54,821 bike-related injuries and 275 bicyclist fatalities in NYC alone? While some people are quick to blame motorists for such accidents, many injuries result from rider inexperience or error. Review the following safety tips to help avoid a bike accident this spring:
- Ride in the street — Unless you are age 12 or younger and your bicycle’s wheels are less than 26 inches in diameter, ride in the street, not the sidewalks. The sidewalks are intended for pedestrians, not vehicles.
- Look out for car doors — Given the size, population and congestion of NYC, hitting a car door while on a bicycle occurs more frequently than you might think. Ride in a straight line, and remain vigilant of taxis letting out passengers and cars attempting to park.
- Don’t wear headphones — The law allows you to wear one earbud. However, to ensure that you are fully aware of your surroundings, you should avoid wearing headphones at all while riding your bike in the city.
- Wear a helmet — By law, helmets are required for children age 13 or younger and working cyclists. But regardless of your age, you can only benefit from protecting yourself. Riding without a helmet makes you more vulnerable to serious, even life-threatening injury in the event that you’re involved in an accident.
Even if you take appropriate measures to stay safe when riding your bike through NYC, you cannot control the actions of drivers, pedestrians or fellow cyclists. If you’re hurt in a bicycle accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, consult the lawyers of [ln::firm_name] to seek rightful compensation for your injuries.