How to Protect Yourself as a Cyclist in New York

Lever & Ecker, PLLC May 10, 2022 Personal injury

Cycling not only provides an eco-friendly and cost-efficient way of traveling, but also offers many health benefits. Regular biking reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease by strengthening your lungs, heart, and circulation. Various studies demonstrate how bike riding improves strength, balance, and heart health, among many other health advantages. However, despite the numerous benefits, all riders must also be aware of the dangers of cycling.

In a 2020 report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), bicyclists account for approximately 2% of annual traffic accident fatalities. Compared to the size and power of motor vehicles of all types, bicycles offer little protection in crashes. Understanding these dangers may reduce a cyclist’s chances of getting into an accident and suffering potentially devastating injuries..

6 Ways to Protect Yourself as a Cyclist in New York

While it may be impossible to eliminate dangerous conditions and threats completely, there are a few steps you can take to increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of a severe accident. Consider the following six ways to protect yourself as a cyclist:

Follow the Rules

When you ride on the open road or in a bike lane next to other vehicles, you must follow the same traffic rules as other motorists. Stopping at traffic lights and using proper turn signaling are examples of essential rules that cyclists must follow for everyone’s safety.

Wear Protective Gear

Helmets, protective glasses, and gloves can significantly reduce the likelihood of severe injuries. Not only can the initial impact harm the cyclists, but also objects around the rider. Protective gear may not entirely prevent injuries, but such gear – and a helmet in particular – can offer a slight buffer and shield from dangers. 

Make Yourself Visible

Many riders may start their rides early in the morning or into the late evening. Having mirrors or reflectors on your bike and clothing may alert drivers of your presence and provide a warning that they need to be careful. When there is poor visibility on the road, these small pieces of equipment may save you from severe injuries in a traffic accident.

Maintain Your Equipment

Checking your brakes and tire pressure may prevent malfunctions from disrupting your ride and causing accidents. For example, if your brakes fail while trying to avoid an accident, you may suffer injuries that otherwise may have been avoidable. Taking the time to maintain your equipment regularly is essential and may save your life. 

Plan Your Route

If you are unfamiliar with your surroundings, you are more likely to be involved in an accident. You may make a wrong turn and turn down a busy road instead of staying on the safe bike path you intended. Planning your route and familiarizing yourself with the area is essential for a safe ride.

Communicate Your Actions

While some bicycles have turn signals built into their equipment, there are other ways for cyclists to communicate their intentions to drivers. Hand and arm signals are some of the most commonly understood signals and can provide a driver with the information they need to keep you safe. 

There are many ways a cyclist may take precautions for their safety. However, accidents are not 100% preventable, and unexpected situations occur on the road. When you suffer severe injuries because of another person’s negligence, contact a bicycle lawyer as soon as possible. 

Contact an Experienced Lever & Ecker, PLLC Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

Bicycle accidents are some of the most harmful due to the cyclist’s vulnerability. While there are many actions cyclists can take to reduce the likelihood of crashes, severe accidents still occur because of reckless behavior by motor vehicle drivers. Speak with a bicycle accident lawyer at Lever & Ecker, PLLC for top-notch legal representation. With 60+ years of combined experience, we have the knowledge and tools to provide you with the best possible outcome for your claim. 

Call (914) 288-9191 or (718) 933-3632 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation today. 

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