As the weather warms up each spring and into the summer, people begin to pull their bicycles out of storage and take to the streets on two wheels. This, unfortunately, means that bicycle fatalities increase during the summer months.
Now that many people are stuck at home, the desire to go for a leisurely bike ride to pass the time has the potential to lead to even more riders out and about this year. Though fewer motor vehicles are on the road due to stay at home orders, bicycle accidents can still occur if you and motorists are not careful—most likely you don’t want to have to go to the hospital right now. With that in mind, here are some bicycle safety tips for cycling, especially during New York’s warm weather months, from our Oneonta bicycle accident attorneys.
How to Practice Bicycle Safety
No matter the time of year or the circumstances, it is always beneficial to practice bicycle road safety. Accidents that involve cars and bicycles colliding are devastating because cyclists have no protective barrier between them and the car. In 2018 alone, almost 900 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
According to the New York Department of Transportation, here are the top bicycle safety tips:
- Always wear a helmet: As we have stated in a previous blog post, 54% of fatal bicycle accidents reported in 2015 involved a rider who wasn’t wearing a helmet compared to 29% involving cyclists wearing helmets. In the state of New York, this is required for individuals 14 and younger.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals: Not only are cyclists required to follow the rules of the road by law, but this will also keep you extra vigilant of cars and other riders on the road. This includes biking with traffic, not against it.
- Don’t use your cell phone, headphones, or other devices: These distractions prevent you from staying alert to your surroundings, including oncoming cars. Evidence strongly points to distracted biking being incredibly risky.
- Wear brightly colored clothing and use lights: The more visible you are, especially at night, the less likely you’ll be struck by a car.
Tips specifically for cycling in warm weather include:
- Stay hydrated
- Dress in light, moisture-wicking fabrics and other seasonally appropriate clothing
- Wear sunscreen
- Ride in the morning or evening to avoid the midday sun
By following bicycle safety rules, you are significantly increasing your chances of staying safe from all road and weather hazards. We wish you and your loved ones happy riding this spring and summer!
Have you been injured in a bicycle accident? Our Ostego County bicycle accident attorneys can help. Contact us today online or over the phone to schedule your free, remote consultation.