If you have recently tried to buy a bicycle or even buy the parts to fix your bicycle, you have seen that the stores are practically sold out of everything. Even if you go online to Amazon or eBay, it is taking two or three months for vendors to fill orders.
Interest in Bicycle Riding Has Increased Since the Start of the Pandemic
Since the Coronavirus pandemic hit at the end of winter, bike riding has become the pastime of choice for so many people. For some, it’s an effort to get in shape or keep in shape since the gyms are closed. For some, it’s a way to get the kids out of the house. For others, it’s become the method of choice for transportation. Regardless of the reason, there are more bikes on the road throughout New York City and Long Island than there have ever been before. For at least three months, bicyclists ruled the roads as the number of cars on the road was drastically reduced.
Now, as we head into the heat of the summer and the fourth month of dealing with the Coronavirus, New York City and Long Island are entering reopening phase three. Phase three means more people will be heading back to work and have more options for entertainment and places to go. The roads and highways are quickly filling up again as people have more places to go.
With More Cars Back on the Road, Bicycle Accidents are on the Rise
The issue with having roads back to capacity in addition to many new bike riders is that the number of bicycle accidents is starting to rise. The combination of inexperienced riders, along with people who, as we have seen in the news and several viral videos, are just looking to vent their frustrations on the first person that comes along, is a recipe for disaster.
Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. However, as it is taught in driving school, maintaining a defensive posture is the best way to go. Defensive driving, or defensive riding, means that you are using driving or riding strategies that reduce risk and help to avoid accidents.
Bikers Have A Responsibility to Stay Safe
For bicycle riders, these strategies include:
- Go with the flow of traffic. Ride on the right side of the road in the same direction as others
- Obey all traffic laws, even stop signs, and red lights. A bicycle is a vehicle. You are required to follow the rules of the road
- Yield to traffic when appropriate. Do not assume people will yield to you because you are on a bike. If the car has the right-of-way, let them go first.
- Be predictable. Being predictable means do not make any sudden moves or direction changes without signaling. Don’t stop suddenly in the flow of traffic. Other riders and drivers are always going to predict what other vehicles are going to do. If you ride erratically, you are putting yourself and others in danger.
- Stay alert. It takes five seconds to completely lose the picture of what is going on around you. It takes three seconds for an accident to start
- Look before turning. As a bike rider, you have a much smaller profile than another car, and you can be challenging to see (make sure your bike has the appropriate reflectors, and you should wear light clothing, preferably with reflective material). If you are making a turn that requires you to cross traffic, make sure the road is clear, and you are not turning against a traffic light.
- Watch for parked cars. One of the most common injuries suffered by bike riders is being doored by a parked car. Being doored is when a drive or passenger opens a door without looking, and a bike rider does not have the time to stop or is unable to avoid hitting the door.
When a bicycle is in an accident with a car, it often has serious ramifications for the bicycle rider. In New York State, a personal injury case based upon the operation of a motor vehicle requires the plaintiff to have sustained a serious injury caused by the negligence of another party. Insurance companies, in defending the claim, may argue that the injury suffered is not serious under the law, and as such, not worthy of compensation. Insurance companies also argue on many occasions that the injured bicyclist was comparatively negligent in causing the accident in an attempt to reduce the amount they have to pay. It is for these reasons and many others that bicyclists who have been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident should retain an experienced personal injury attorney to represent them.
Call the Law Offices of Marc S. Albert for a Free Consultation
Marc Albert has over 25 years of experience working on bicycle accidents. Marc offers high-level personalized service, and he handles all of the cases that he accepts personally. Call the Law Office of Marc S. Albert to schedule your free consultation.