The reality in urban areas is that it’s tough for bike riders to share the road with motorists, pedestrians and everyone else using the same small spaces for transportation. In and around the five boroughs of New York City, there are a lot of challenges that bicyclists face due to many different aspects of urban living.
New York City government leaders have been trying to support bicyclists and others by promoting bike safety tips to minimize the chances of unfortunate accidents on the road. Below are some of the guidelines that have come from New York city safety officials looking at how to enable bike riders to ride in a way that maximizes public health and safety.
The first fundamental tip from NYC.gov is to ride in the street instead of the sidewalk. Riders are also encouraged to ride with traffic, which means they should ride on the right side of the road and not the left. For many less experienced bicyclists, not using an empty sidewalk may seem counterintuitive, but public planners note that sidewalks are made for pedestrians, not bicycles.
That’s why, when possible, officials are creating marked bike lanes or paths and encouraging bicyclists to use them.
Visibility and Safety Tools
New York city government officials also promote the use of specific visibility and safety tools for bicycle riders. Visibility tools include a white headlight and red tail light on a bike, along with any additional reflectors. Bicycle riders are also encouraged to wear brightly colored clothing.
Another safety tool that experts suggest is a bell or horn on the bicycle to provide auditory warnings to those in the vicinity of the rider. A helmet is also required for children age 13 and under and recommended for all ages.
Bicycles are expected to obey red lights and stop signs along with other traffic. Bicycle riders should signal before making lane turns and keep distance between themselves and cars. This also extends to looking out for parked cars and opening car doors.
All of these common sense safety tips help to lower the chances that a bicycle rider will be involved in a tragic accident on the street. But everyone involved has a responsibility to keep safety a top priority. Motorists have to look out for bicyclists or pedestrians in their vicinity, particularly because of the huge disparity in power between human-powered vehicles and those that rely on gasoline, hybrid or electric engines.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in New York City, call the New York City bicycle accident law firm of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. Our attorneys will help counsel you on your legal options, such as bringing a personal injury case against any responsible parties. We help injury victims collect the money needed for the costs of care and recovery, along with pain and suffering. Let us help you access your rights under the law.