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The Ultimate Guide to Bicycle Safety

The Ultimate Guide TO BICYCLE SAFETY BICYCLING IS NOT ONLY A HEALTHY RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY; IT IS A GROWING MEANS OF ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TRANSPORTATION _ ESPECIALLY LARGE AND CONGESTED CITIES LIKE NEW YORK. In fact, did you know that between 2007 and 2011 the number of New Yorkers who used bicycles as their primary mode of commute doubled, and the amount of bicyclists is expected to triple by 2017? 2007 2011 2017 According to data provided by the New York City government, in the span of merely three months, between October 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011, there were 754 motor vehicle-bicycle crashes citywide, resulting in three bicyclist fatalities. Nearly half of all NYc motor vehicle fatalities are pedestrians, and seven percent involve bicycles. The New York City Bicycle Coalition and Department of Transportation is working overtime to reduce these rates. We have provided a comprehensive guide that will help you stay safe while riding. WHERE CAN YOU RIDE? Bicyclists are free to enjoy the road nearly everywhere! The state of New York encourages motor vehicles to share the road and to respect cyclist safety. Riding is permitted on main streets, local side streets and, of course, in designated bicycling areas. It should be noted that designated route is not required, although bicyclists are typically safer if they choose to cycle in a bike lane, bike path or shared lane. New York City offers more than 800 miles of classified bike ride routes. CYCLISTS ARE PROHIBITED FROM RIDING IN THE FOLLOWING O On the sidewalk, unless the cyclist is under 14 years old and On expressways, drives, highways, interstate routes and thruways unless otherwise authorized by posted signs. O Against the flow of traffic. bicycle has wheels that are less than 26 inches in diameter. TIPS FOR RIDING IN TRAFFIC: O Bicyclists must yield to pedestrians. O Bicycles are treated as vehicles; therefore cyclists are required to stop at o Use a bell to signal presence when all red lights and stop signs. O Cyclists are encouraged to keep right and to refrain from traveling in the center lanes, however riding in the middle lanes is permitted when necessary for the bicyclist's safety. Bicyclists have the right to ride all the way to the left of a 40-foot-wide one-way street. Riders should refrain from staying too close to the parked vehicles lane - they are urged to keep at least three feet between their bicycle and parked cars. Exiting passengers who swing their car doors open to unsuspecting bicyclists pose a serious risk on the road. O Use a white headlight and red taillight when riding at night. necessary. O Never wear more than one headphone at a time when riding. This will allow you to hear horns, voices and sirens more effectively. O Use hand signals when making turns. Always look over the shoulder before making turns or lane changes. Remember that a left arm extended outward signals a left turn; a left arm in the "L" position signals a right turn; one hand down signals a stop. BICYCLE SAFETY New York State Law requires helmets for cyclists who are 13 years old and younger, however every rider is always encouraged to wear a helmet. After all, 74% of cyclist fatalities result from head injuries. Helmet usage reduces the risk of injury in a crash by 80 percent. When shopping for a helmet, bicyclists should be sure that the helmet fits snugly and doesn't rock from side to side when moving the head around. When wearing a helmet, cyclists should always buckle the chinstrap, be sure that the helmet doesn't tilt either forward or backward and should beware of any cracks or damage in the helmet. New York City's DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION has dtstributed and ft more than 75,000 free helmets since 2007. HORN OR BELL HANDLEBARS LIGHTS & BRICHT OR REFLECTIVE GEAR WHEELS Handlebars should tight and in line with the wheel height below a rider's shoulder level. Grip ends should be replaced when they become Remain visible on Be seen and heard. A horn or bell can alert pedestrians and motorists and The spokes of whee the road. When riding at night, cyclists are advised hould always retain good tension and none should ever be missing. Tires must always remain adequately inflated and with good tread and no sidewall damage. Either the tires or spokes should be reflective. let them know when you are present. Due to the limited to wear light-colored clothing with reflective materials. From dusk till dawn, bicyclists are required to use a white headlight and realizing it. In certain red taillight. visibility of bicycles, many drivers cut them off or back into worn out. them without even scenarios, stopping a bicycle accident from occurring can be solely attributed to the use of bells and horns. CHILD SAFETY HELMET The first thing to stress to a child is the importance of preventing a head or brain injury. By this time, parents understand that a helmet can save their little bicyclist's life - but sometimes that isn't enough. Sometimes kids don't feel cool when wearing protective headgear, or they don't like how tight and clunky it feels on their head. The good news is that today's child bike helmets are lightweight while remaining protective. They also come in cool colors and designs that kids love. This accomplishes two things - brighter colors will appease your child, while also ensuring that motorists are more likely to see them when on the road. CHECK EQUIPMENT Before letting your child take off, mom or dad should check the components of the bicycle. The seat, handlebars, chain and wheels should all fit tightly. Check the brakes to be sure they aren't sticking, and feel the tires to test the amount of tire pressure. MAKE SURE THEY ARE VISIBLE No matter what time of day your child is riding, there are precautions that you can take to be sure that other vehicles on the road can see them. Dress your little cyclist in neon, fluorescent or other bright colors at all times when riding. Also be sure their bike is equipped with reflectors, as well as lights if they plan to ride at night. Flashing lights can provide extra safety. CHOOSE SAFE AREAS TO RIDE Public bike paths, parks and low-traffic neighborhoods are always good places for children to ride. Roads with numerous potholes, puddles, loose gravel and regular traffic should be avoided. NIGHT RIDING Parents should refrain from allowing their young children from riding at night, when it is more difficult for others to see them. Even with bright clothing, reflectors and lights, kids are in harm's way when they bicycle after dark – it is not only hard for others to see them, but it is more difficult for your child to see others, as well as hazards in the road. STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A BICYCLE ACCIDENT Bicycle accidents happen every day. They can involve other bicycles or pedestrians; can be caused by the loss of control, the negligence of a motorist, or due to hazardous weather or road conditions. Being involved in an accident, especially a bicycle accident in which protection is minimal, can be frightening and jarring. The following is a list of important steps to take in the event that you are involved in a bicycle accident: 4. Gather Remove yourself Notify the police. from any potential additional danger. there has been Get yourself out of the road, and If insurance companies are involved, be careful what you say. Insurance companies are well trained to Choose your If anyone has been injured, or if words wisely and never negotiate with another party involved. the accident. This Anything you say information. Swap data with anyone else who was involved in any property damage, you then when it is and/or any includes license can be used motorist, safe, get your bicycle out of harm's way to prevent your bike in the collision from getting maimed, and to put a stop to any sound as though they are on your side, and that they understand "T'm sorry!" Also, the pain you are going through. In reality, most are looking for you to admit fault to avoid paying fair value for your plate number, driver's license against you as an pedestrian or admission of cyclist involved information. home address, fault, so never utter the words are obligated to remain at the phone number and insurance with your scene until the information. adrenaline police arrive. running high, your body may other accidents Obtain witness from occurring. statements and/or contact mask the extent of your injuries directly after a around to see the collision, and you property damage. information if anyone was injuries or Consider having an attorney speak with the insurance crash. Take note could potentially have incurred of your surroundings and take pictures damage than you of evidence, such more bodily originally think. Never negotiate company on your behalf if you as the damage done to your bicycle and traffic signs. with a motorist have been when it comes to seriously injured. the state of your body. Insurance companies often pay much greater settlements if they are dealing with an experienced attorney. Spenaared by The taw Oe ey Esiapel, LC

The Ultimate Guide to Bicycle Safety

shared by jknylaw on Aug 22
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The Ultimate Guide to Bike Safety provides important and informational bicycle safety tips that every cyclist across the United States needs to be aware of before riding. It offers up to date bicycle...


Jay Knispel


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