NYC Bike Accident Attorney Discusses Bicycle Riding Safety in the New York area
Many native New Yorkers and tourists greatly enjoy riding bicycles around town when we’re not facing bad weather explains Arkady Frekhtman, a New York City bike accident attorney at the F&A injury law firm in Manhattan. In fact, Citibank’s bike sharing program can help nearly everyone get around Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and even Jersey City. The annual membership program works for many, while others are fine with just paying for a day pass so they can ride to meet a friend or colleague for lunch – or take in a museum or simple tourist attraction.
Whatever you do, be sure to ride friendly since about 200,000 people ride bikes here on good weather days. In fact, about twice a month, close to 500,000 adult New Yorkers ride their bicycles all over this big metropolitan area.
While being out in the open air and feeling the city’s excitement can be fun, you still need to observe all of New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) rules and regulations while riding. Here’s a quick overview of many of these requirements, followed by a summary of basic bike safety tips to help you reach every destination in great shape.
DOT Guidelines and Other Tips for Riding Safely Around Town
- Never ride on sidewalks. Riders who do this can be ticketed and face other sanctions;
- Always wear a helmet while riding. Serious head injuries are far too common when people are either hit by a vehicle or simply fall off their bikes;
- When riding through a park, only do so in designated bike lanes or special areas;
- Bike riding is never allowed on highways, bridges, interstate routes or drives – unless posted traffic signs clearly grant permission;
- Always keep both hands on the handlebars. If necessary, carefully strap goods down where allowed on a bike — or place them in a backpack worn on your shoulders;
- Ride carefully in designated bike lanes – and never ride more than two people abreast;
- Dress appropriately. Sneakers often work best. Avoid wearing sandals and other types of shoes that can easily fall off or get caught on the bike chain and other parts. If you’re riding before sunrise or after dark, try wearing specially made clothing that helps vehicle drivers and other riders see you. Also, remember that white headlights and red tail lights on bikes are required between dusk and dawn;
- Avoid riding during morning or evening rush hours, if possible. If you must ride then, stay in the bike lanes;
- Always carry personal identification and a fully-charged cell phone. Keep these items safely put away in a backpack – and never talk (or text) on a cell phone while riding;
- Obey all posted traffic signs. Too many bicycle riders mistakenly think that posted traffic signs only apply to motorists. They apply to everyone using the roads;
- Avoid wearing any audio earphones. Keep in mind that local regulations forbid you from wearing more than one earphone attached to any musical device while riding. It’s obviously best to avoid wearing any earphones since you need to hear when another vehicle is driving close to you – or about to hit you;
- If you want to ride with your child – strap the child carefully into a designated second seat and be sure s/he is wearing a helmet.
While these safety tips aren’t intended to be fully comprehensive, they can help you get a good start while you study up on online rules and regulations.
Should you or someone close to you get into a serious bicycle accident caused by another party’s negligence, be sure to contact your New York bike accident attorney. We’ll help you decide if you need to file a lawsuit to be fully compensated for your damages.