Now that spring is here, more people are going to be riding bicycles for fun and transportation.
While riding a bike is fun, it is also important to be aware of the risks. According to data from the NYC Department of Transportation, in 2014, almost 4,000 New York City cyclists were injured and 20 were killed in crashes between a bike and a motor vehicle. Another 480 cyclists were injured in crashes involving pedestrians or other bikes.
Bicycle safety starts with you
As a cyclist, there's nothing you can do to prevent drivers from behaving irresponsibly. But, there are some steps you can take to make accidents less likely:
- Bike like a car: Ride on the street, in the same direction as traffic. Just like drivers, bicyclists need to come to a full stop at red lights and stop signs.
- Signal your turns: Learn the hand signals, and use them. Accidents can happen when drivers aren't expecting you to turn.
- Stay in your lane: If there's a bike lane, use it. Otherwise, stay as close to the right side of the road as is reasonable, unless you're making a left turn. Don't cut or weave through traffic.
- Make yourself visible: Wear light colored clothing and reflective gear. If you're going to ride after dark, be sure you have a white light on the front and a red light on the back of your bike.
- Don't bike under the influence: Riding a bike might seem like a safer alternative to drunk driving, but it is not. Take a cab or public transportation instead.
Keeping these tips in mind will make New York's roads safer for everyone. Here's to a happy and healthy spring!