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Avoiding a Bicycle Accident : Tips for Motorcylists and Bicyclists

Avoiding a Bicycle Accident : Tips for Motorcylists and Bicyclists


On June 17, an 80-year-old cyclist was killed when he was struck by a charter bus in the Chelsea section of Manhattan explains a NYC bicycle accident attorney. Unfortunately, he was the second cyclist struck and killed by a bus in the Chelsea neighborhood in the same week. Sadly, these two men were the fifth and sixth bicycle fatalities in New York City so far this year. Luckily, there are several things people, both bicyclists and motorists, can do to reduce the chances of similar accidents happening.

Bicyclist Tips

If you often ride a bicycle around New York City, you likely know that it is a great way to get around the city, but because of the busy nature of the streets, traveling by bicycle in NYC requires extra precaution. No matter where you are biking, though, safety is an essential part of being a bicyclist.

  • When you are on your bike, you are expected to ride as though you are a motorist, meaning you should obey all traffic signals. This includes stop lights, stop signs, and other traffic signals.
  • Ride with the flow of traffic, including staying on the right side of the road.
  • Along with riding on the correct side of the road, you should ride in the correct lane. Do not travel straight in a turning lane, and do not turn when you are in a lane that is going straight. If you are in the wrong lane, you are likely to confuse motorists, thereby increasing your chances of being hit.
  • Use bike lanes and paths when they are available. When making a left turn, you will need to leave the bike lane to safely complete your turn.
  • Wear a helmet. While only children under fourteen are required by New York law to wear a helmet, safety should be a top priority for anyone riding a bicycle.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. This includes other bicyclists, motorists, and any potential road hazards. If you are riding near parked vehicles, watch for open doors. Adjust your riding to avoid hitting anything or being hit by anything. To be fully aware of your surroundings, put away your cell phone or anything else that may distract you.
  • Know and use proper hand signals when turning, switching lanes, or braking. This will let others know of your intentions.
  • Be extra careful when biking at night or in poor weather. If you are riding in the dark, make sure your bike is properly equipped with both a white headlight and a red tail light. Bright, reflective clothing can also help you to be more visible during bad weather and at night.
  • Keep your bike in good repair. This includes making sure the tires are properly inflated as well as making sure your brakes work properly. If you do not already have one, get a bell or horn for your bike, and use it when necessary.

Motorist Tips

Bicyclists should not be the only ones responsible for their safety on the roads. As a motorist, there are several things you can do to keep bicyclists and others safer on our roadways.

  • Be aware of smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians traveling near you. If one suddenly disappears from your eyesight, drive especially carefully.
  • Watch for bicyclists when making a turn, especially when there is a bike lane. Give bicyclists the same respect you would give another vehicle if you were making a turn.
  • When parking along the side of the road, look for bicyclists before opening your door.
  • Give bicyclists their space. Do not try to crowd your way into the same lane as someone riding a bike.

Unfortunately, accidents can happen, even when you are trying to be careful.  Frekhtman & Associates are personal injury lawyers that have won many bicycle accident cases.  If you were injured in a bicycle accident or a family member was injured or killed while riding a bicycle, contact us.