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Safety tips for New York City bicyclists

With, according to weather.com, temperatures this week expected to climb into the 60s and 70s, it appears as though spring has arrived early in New York City. As residents seek opportunities to spend and enjoy more time outdoors, many will dust off their bicycles and take to the city's streets and parks.

While both a great form of exercise and a more-earth friendly form of transportation, biking is not without its drawbacks or dangers. This is especially true for individuals who bike in dense urban areas like New York City where a biker is often confronted with numerous and significant safety challenges.

According to New York City's Department of Transportation, during 2014, a total of 4,463 bicyclists suffered injuries and 21 died after being involved in collisions with motor vehicles. To avoid becoming a statistic this biking season, individuals who choose to bike in the city are advised to follow New York City's biking laws.

  • Don't ride on the sidewalk
  • Ride on the street, with traffic
  • Use bike lanes where provided
  • Obey all traffic laws - stop for stoplights and red lights
  • Use hand signals to alert other bikers, pedestrians and motorists of actions
  • Ensure a bicycle is equipped with a white headlight and red taillight

In addition to these laws, for safety reasons, bicyclists would also be wise to wear brightly colored clothing and to always wear a bike helmet. Bikers are also advised to remain watchful and vigilant while biking and to keep an eye out for motorists, pedestrians and open car doors.

Injuries suffered in bicycle accidents are often serious and debilitating. In cases where such injuries result due to a motorist’s reckless or careless actions, it's a good idea to consult with an attorney who may recommend taking legal action to recover compensation.

Source: New York City Department of Transportation, "Bicylists," March 8, 2016

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