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For New York City bicyclists, dangers are abound

New York City is relatively compact and densely populated. While the city boasts one of the most expansive subway systems in the U.S., some city commuters prefer to say above ground. For these individuals, it can be difficult to cope with the headaches and delays that accompany driving in New York City.

Like many cities across the country, bicycles are gaining popularity among city residents and can routinely be seen amongst the sea of idling cars, trucks and taxis. While biking is increasingly becoming the preferred mode of transportation for some New Yorkers, it can also be an extremely dangerous way to get around and, since Oct. 1, 2011, nearly 50,000 people have been injured and 290 killed in bicycle accidents.

Motor vehicles pose the greatest danger to bicyclists. When riding a bicycle in the city, individuals are reminded to abide by the following bike laws.

• Do not ride on sidewalks
• Ride on the street and with traffic
• Abide by all traffic laws, including those that apply to stop lights and stop signs
• When available, utilize designated bike lanes
• Ensure a bicycle is equipped with reflectors, a headlight and taillight
• Yield to pedestrians

Additionally, to promote safety and prevent being involved in a bicycle and motor vehicle accident; bicyclists are advised to:

• Wear a bike helmet
• Signal all lane changes and turns
• Make eye contact with drivers
• Wear brightly clothing
• Avoid biking during diminished daylight hours
• Avoid erratic movements and weaving in and out of traffic
• Remain alert and vigilant of the whereabouts of other motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and stationary objects

In cases where an individual is involved in a bicycle accident, resulting injuries may be painful and serious in nature. Depending on the circumstances, it may be wise to discuss one's case with an attorney who handles personal injury matters.

Source: New York City Department of Transportation, "Bicyclists," April 8, 2015

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