Bicyclists must follow specific laws when riding in New York City. These laws were created for a very important reason: to reduce the number of bicycle-related accidents and injuries. Let's take a look at some of the most important laws that bicyclists might not be aware of:
-- Unless you're under 13 years of age and you have under 26-inch diameter wheels, you need to ride your bicycle in the street, and sidewalks are off limits.
-- Always ride with the flow of traffic. Riding in the opposite direction of traffic is illegal.
-- Obey the same signals and signs that vehicle drivers have to obey, including red lights, stop signs, pavement markings, etc.
-- Give pedestrians the right of way, and exercise care to prevent collisions with other bicyclists and other vehicles.
-- Whenever they're available, use bike paths and bike lanes. You may exit bike lanes and paths when it's safe, and when making a turn.
-- If the road is too narrow for a car and a bicycle to travel side-by-side, feel free ride in the middle of the road.
-- Affix a horn, bell and reflectors to your bicycle. Also, use a white headlight and a red taillight.
Although the above laws are designed to reduce the chances of getting into an accident, following them is no guarantee that a bicyclist will escape injury. If you or a loved one are hurt in a New York City bicycle crash, you might have the ability to seek financial compensation for your injuries by filing a personal injury claim.
Source: New York City DOT, "Bike Smart," accessed April 18, 2017