With how crowded New York streets are with cars, buses and taxis, it is important for pedestrians and bicyclists to make safety a priority.
While the duty is on motorists to ensure they adhere to the rules of the road, there are certain steps pedestrians and cyclists can take to lessen their chances of being injured in a serious car or taxi accident.
Staying safe as a bike rider
Here are some helpful safety tips for New York bicyclists:
- Always ride in the street: You may not ride on sidewalks unless you are 12 years old or younger and have bicycle wheels that are less than 26 inches in diameter. By staying on the street, you remain within the flow of traffic and avoid colliding with pedestrians.
- Ride in a straight line: Always obey all traffic signs and signals and avoid weaving in and out of traffic. Riding in a predictable manner will greatly reduce your chances of a crash occurring.
- Stay visible: Wear brightly colored clothing when riding during the day, and wear reflective materials and lights when riding at night. Make sure your bike also has reflectors and lights on it so that it’s more visible to others.
- Wear a helmet: All riders under 13 years of age must wear helmets by law. They are also highly recommended for all riders to ensure greater safety if a collision occurs.
- Use bike lanes: Whenever marked bike lanes or bike paths are available, use them! If the road is too narrow for bicycles and motor vehicles to travel side by side safely, you can ride in the middle of the travel lane. Bicyclists and motorists have equal rights.
Important tips for pedestrians
Below are some safety tips for New York City pedestrians to keep in mind:
- Don’t play music loudly: If you wear earbuds or headphones while walking down the street, make sure the music is at a reasonable volume so you can maintain some general awareness of your surroundings.
- Stay off your phone: While crossing the street, keep your phone in your pocket or purse. Any time you enter the road, you should be completely focused on your surroundings and on making sure it is actually safe to be crossing the street at that time and location.
- Obey all crossing signals: Be sure to only cross when it is safe and legal to do so. This means using crosswalks, obeying crossing signals and avoiding jaywalking. Look both ways before crossing the street, even when you have the right of way. You can never completely predict the behavior of motorists.
For more important safety tips and information on your legal options if you have been involved in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, meet with a skilled New York taxi accident lawyer at the Law Office of Evan W. Kohn.