Bike Safety for Everyone

Posted: August 22, 2022

Owning, driving, and maintaining a car can get expensive. 

New Yorkers looking for less-expensive ways to get around are increasingly turning to bicycles, causing bike sales to rise. With more bicyclists on the road, it is reasonable to conclude that the number of motor vehicle accidents involving bicyclists leading to death or serious injuries could increase as well 

Bike-Safety Gear 

To stay safe while cycling, you must have the right equipment, use it properly, and regularly check and maintain it. 

Under New York law, individuals who are 

  • younger than 12 months old must not ride bicycles; 
  • between 1 and 4 years old must wear helmets and ride in attached safety seats; or 
  • younger than 14 must wear helmets. 

The law requires any parent or guardian who lets a child ride without a helmet be fined as much as $50. Certain counties, including Erie, have passed ordinances requiring others to wear helmets under certain circumstances. 

According to the New York State Department of Transportation, an appropriate helmet “fit[s] squarely on top of the head in a level position and covers the top of the forehead, extending down to about an inch above the eyebrows.” Thus, a properly fitting helmet should not slide back and forth or from side to side on a person’s head. “In the event of a crash,” the Department of Transportation continues, “helmets should be replaced immediately, even if there is no apparent damage [to the helmet].” 

The New York State Department of Transportation offers certain safety tips for bicyclists. They include: “Adjust your bike to fit you and keep it working properly. Check brakes and tires regularly. Routine maintenance is simple, and you can learn to do it yourself.” 

New York bicyclists, like motor vehicle operators, must follow the rules of the road where applicable. For example, the New York State Department of Transporation requires bicyclists to (among other things) follow lane markings, no consume alcohol, dress appropriately and choose the best way to turn left. 

Follow the Rules of the Road and Drive Defensively 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests staying safe by following rules of safety. These include: “Go with the traffic flow. Ride on the right in the same direction as cars” and “Stay alert – use your eyes to look for things that could make you fall, like potholes, cracks, pebbles, or wet leaves.” 

Hurt By a Car While Riding Your Bicycle?  Call William Mattar

If you are injured while riding a bicycle, you may want to consider consulting William Mattar, P.C.’s experienced bicycle accident attorneys. Our attorneys can help analyze and navigate complex legal issues that can arise after a bike accident. The injury attorneys at William Mattar, P.C., have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and representing injured parties in lawsuits against liable parties. Contact us today at (844) 444-4444. 

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