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Bicycle commuters: Keep these safety tips in mind

If you live in or around a big city like New York, there's a good chance you've come to realize the benefits of commuting on a bicycle. From the gas savings to the exercise to reducing your carbon footprint, it's safe to assume you enjoy every minute you spend on your bike.

Unfortunately, you always have to concern yourself with being part of a bicycle-car accident.

As a bicycle commuter, there are four safety tips you should follow at all times:

  • Ride on the street or a bike lane. It's easy to assume that riding your bicycle on the sidewalk is the safest bet, but this isn't the case. You are much better off riding on the street or in a designated bike lane, as both areas allow you to move freely and at a good rate of speed.
  • Stay on your toes. As you ride your bicycle, you'll realize there's always something going on around you. From pedestrians to motor vehicles, you have to stay alert at all times. It only takes one mistake to cause an accident, so you never want to let your guard down.
  • Always signal. Once you get into the habit of doing this you'll realize just how important it is. By signaling, you let everyone know of your intentions before making a turn. This holds true of motor vehicle operators, pedestrians and other bicyclists.
  • Wear the appropriate safety gear. Many people neglect to do this when commuting to or from work, but it's a mistake that can backfire if you're part of an accident. There are many forms of bicycle safety gear, with a helmet among the most important. You should also wear gloves, while making sure your shoes are appropriate for riding (leave the high heels in your bag).

A growing number of people are realizing that commuting on a bicycle makes the most sense, as it saves them both time and money.

As a bicycle commuter, an accident is your primary concern. If this happens, do the following:

  • Call 911
  • Stay where you are and administer first aid until help arrives
  • Receive medical attention
  • Learn more about the cause of the accident

Once you do these things, you'll feel better about your health as well as the steps you can take to hold the negligent party responsible. You have legal rights as a bicyclist and you want to protect them.

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