Riding a bicycle in New York City is a common activity, both for recreational purposes and for commuting. With more than 1,350 miles of bike lanes in the city as of 2019, biking has never been more convenient. This is especially true with new bike share systems, such as Citi Bike, which has more than 12,000 bikes at more than 750 docking stations scattered across NYC.
However, it’s important to ensure that you are utilizing these devices safely. Whether you are an experienced Citi Bike rider or new to these bikes, here are some tips that can help you feel comfortable and confident on two wheels.
If you or someone you love is injured while using a Citi Bike, our Queens Citi Bike accident attorneys can review your case for free to determine your legal options. Contact us at (888) 211-1116 at your earliest convenience.
Plan a Sensible Route
It’s a good idea to map out your route before you begin pedaling so you get a sense of where you are going. It’s safest to take a route that includes bike lanes, which are protected lanes that allow cyclists to ride in between parked cars and block them from oncoming traffic. In general, bicycles must use bike paths unless 1.) preparing for a turn at an intersection, driveway, or private road, or 2.) when it is reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions. Additionally, ensure that you stay off sidewalks and ride at least three feet away from cars.
Do a Pre-Ride Check
Bicycle safety begins before you even get on your Citi Bike! Inspecting your bike and making any necessary adjustments can help keep you safe and ensure that your bike functions as you need it to. Here are a few things to do as part of your pre-ride check: adjust the seat to fit your height, make sure that the tires are properly inflated, and double-check the brakes. If you notice any problem with the bike, you should dock it, tap the red “wrench” icon to alert Citi Bike, and choose a new bike.
Wear a Helmet
All Citi Bike riders are encouraged to wear helmets while riding. Helmets are key when it comes to bicycle safety, and can significantly reduce the risk of fatal head injuries. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), properly-used helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries by 50% and reduce the risk of neck and face injuries by 33%. Choose a helmet that fits snugly, is level on your head, and has an adjustable chin strap.
Obey Traffic Laws
In New York City, provisions that apply to regular motor vehicles are also applicable to bicycles and their operators. In other words, you must obey the rules of the road just as any other car. For instance, bicycle riders are required to yield to pedestrians, obey all traffic lights and signs, wait for green lights, and ride in the direction of traffic. Additionally, wearing headphones or earbuds in both ears is illegal while riding a bicycle in New York City.
Use Hand Signals
Remember that you’re sharing the road with cars, trucks, fellow cyclists, and pedestrians. Be clear with your directions in order to let those around you know what your next move will be. The best way to do this is by using hand signals to indicate where you are turning. For a left turn, stick your left arm straight out. For a right turn, extend your right arm straight out or raise your left arm and bend it upwards to a 90-degree angle or an “L” shape. Lastly, hold your left hand pointing to the ground to indicate a stop.
Injured While Using a Citi Bike?
If you or someone you know has been injured while using Citi Bike or an e-bike, e-moped, or e-scooter device, you need an attorney by your side in order to ensure that you recover physically and financially. At Davidoff Law, our Citi Bike accident attorneys have been assisting those injured across Queens and all boroughs of NYC for decades.
You can be confident knowing that your case is in our hands and we will do everything in our power to obtain a favorable outcome on our behalf.
Contact our team at (888) 211-1116 to schedule your FREE case review today!