Now that Queens has over 2.3 million residents living in an area measuring 109 square miles, it’s no wonder that it often records more annual bicycle accidents than New York City’s smaller boroughs. During the past few years, several bicyclists have lost their lives trying to safely maneuver around this area. Even after new bike lanes were constructed following one rider’s death, bicyclists realized they must always keep driving defensively.
Although cars, trucks and taxis once dominated most sections of New York City, so many residents are now riding that bicycles now outnumber vehicles in some parts of the city’s smaller boroughs.
Safety must remain your chief riding goal
While paying close attention to traffic signals and keeping a close eye on all the vehicles passing by can keep a bike rider safe in many parts of Queens, it’s still crucial to follow all bicycle safety guidelines.
Here’s a general review of safe cycling tips for those who ride in Queens and other parts of New York City.
What can Queens bicycle riders due to avoid being in an accident?
These first safety tips address what you should do while out riding your bike.
- Always protect your head by wearing a helmet — no matter how short a ride or errand you’re completing. According to AAA, if all bicyclists wore helmets, at least one life could be saved every day – and a head injury could be prevented every four minutes. Take the time to adjust your helmet properly, using the straps, pads and dials provided by the manufacturer;
- Don’t mix bike riding with alcohol or drugs. Never ride a bicycle when you’ve had even a small amount of alcohol or drugs. Riders often fail to realize how quickly these substances rob them of their best judgment and physical response time;
- Ride with a friend whenever possible. If you’ll avoid visiting with each other during the ride, you’ll both be safer since traveling together increases your visibility. Also, should any type of accident occur, one rider can quickly summon help for the other one;
- Bike lanes can help. Use them whenever possible – and keep alternate routes in mind. Always be prepared to change your route when traffic is extra heavy;
- Remember that intersections can be very dangerous. Use added caution when riding up to these – and don’t expect other vehicles to grant you the right-of-way;
- Always act and drive as though you’re driving a vehicle. Don’t run a yellow light or speed through any areas just because they appear to be empty;
- Ride with both hands on the handlebars – and never listen to any music while riding. Using earbuds or headphones will prevent you from hearing the last sounds that could warn you to veer in a different direction when you’re about to be struck by a vehicle.
While all the tips shared above should help while you’re out riding around the city, it’s important to handle many other safety-related measures in between rides – or before every heading out on the road.
Safety measures you must properly handle in between your Queens bicycle rides
- Keep your bicycle properly maintained. Should you be needing a new bicycle, try visiting the following links to learn more about the basic types of bicycles you can choose from – and how to decide which bike is the right size for you;
- Carefully study the weather right before each planned ride. If it’s likely to rain or snow, take public transit to increase your safety and ride on another day;
- Be sure your bicycle has ample accessories. You’ll need front and rear lights – preferably the type that flash and draw added attention to your presence on the road. Also, always carry a small first aid kit;
- Wear bright or fluorescent colors while riding your bike. Vehicle drivers often claim they simply cannot see many bicyclists in busy traffic. Also, wear sturdy footwear and make sure both shoes fit properly;
- Carry a patch kit, cell phone and your ID. No one needs to get stranded and if you do need someone to come pick you up, your cell phone can save the day. Should you get into an accident, you’ll always want to have your ID — so your relatives or friends can be notified where you’ve been sent for treatment. Also, carry the names and phone numbers of friends and family — and consider carrying a small amount of hidden cash;
- Take the time to review both New York City and state bicycle safety laws and regulations. You can start out by visiting this link — and also visit this government list created by NYC’s Department of Transportation.
If you’ve been seriously injured while riding a bicycle in Queens or any other part of town, be sure to contact your New York City bicycle accident lawyer. Once we accept your case, we’ll draw upon all our personal injury law firm resources to help you win the maximum compensation that’s owed to you for all your injuries. We fight hard for every client.