The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed some interesting phenomena.
From less air pollution to dolphins frolicking in empty cruise ports, the landscape of the world has changed in many ways because of the pandemic – and one of those is more cyclists on the streets of New York City.
Many people are trading in public transportation for two wheels and taking the streets on bicycles to get where they need to go. While this change isn’t necessarily negative, it does create some new hazards: namely, that inexperienced cyclists have been unleashed on the streets and can become a hazard to themselves and everyone around them.
If you’re getting on a bike for the first time in a while, then here are some tips to help you stay safe and informed about what to do if you’re involved in an accident.
More Bikes on NYC Streets
Just how much is this pandemic impacting the traffic on the streets? Well, compared with data from last year at the same time, there has been a 60 percent surge in the number of people using bikes. This number will certainly ebb and flow in the coming weeks, but one thing is for certain: more people are biking and that means more bikes on the streets.
The New York Times reports that two cyclists on average die each day due to accidents, so it’s important to do what you can whether you’re in a car or on a bike to keep everyone safe.
Staying Safe on the Streets of New York
If you’re new to the world of bicycling and are now using it as your primary source of transportation, don’t let your inexperience put you in danger of a traffic accident. To ensure your safety, it’s highly recommended that you:
- Wear a helmet
- Stay visible by wearing reflective or bright-colored clothing
- Follow traffic rules. Bikes are considered vehicles on the road and must follow all the same rules, including traffic signals and signs, as any other vehicle
- Avoid riding on sidewalks
- Yield to pedestrians
- Use traffic signals to let others on the road know when you plan to turn or stop
- Ride with traffic
- Don’t weave in and out of traffic
- Use bike pathways and lanes when possible
- Stay alert and always be aware of other drivers and the environment
What To Do If You’re Involved in a Cycling Accident in NY
If you are involved in an accident with a bike or other vehicle, then it’s important to:
- Get out of danger – Get out of the way of moving traffic and get someplace safe. If you’re unable to move, then make sure you can be seen by others.
- Seek medical attention – If you’re injured, then call an ambulance or have someone call an ambulance for you.
- Call the authorities – Even if you think you’re uninjured, you should still call the police to make a report. They can help to identify the parties involved in the accident and officially document the time and place the accident occurred.
- Exchange information – Note the license plates of the vehicle involved as well as the model, make, and color. If possible, get full insurance details as well as the name and address of the parties involved.
- Gather evidence – If you are able, then make sure to take pictures of the scene before anything is moved.
- Keep copies – Keep a copy of everything related to the accident, such as police reports and ambulance reports as well as the name of the officer who took the report at the scene.
Taking to the streets on two wheels during this pandemic isn’t a bad thing, but it’s important to stay safe!