The number of people who travel and commute to work by bicycle in New York City is quite large when compared to other states, and it is not only to avoid the heavy traffic. The New York Times references a study of bicyclists compared to those who drive motor vehicles in the city, and it showed that those who travel by bicycle are happier and experience less stress than motorists.
While commuting by bicycle in the city is an enjoyable experience for the seasoned biker, those who wish to give up their vehicle in favor of biking may want to keep a few safety tips in mind before they begin.
1. Learn hand signals
Bicyclists must obey the rules of the road, including which hand signals to use. This allows pedestrians, other cyclists and drivers to understand your intended direction and actions. Learning these signals before attempting to navigate the city’s traffic can help new cyclists feel more confident as well, which is important in traffic situations where they must make quick decisions.
2. Remain aware
Bicyclists wearing headphones or earbuds is a common sight in the city, but these cyclists might have a higher risk of injury because the music blocks out their surroundings. They may not hear a car horn or squealing brakes of a motorist stopping short at an intersection. Remaining focused on the traffic and not a favorite song or podcast can increase the chances cyclists will reach their destination without incident.
3. Do not ignore parked vehicles
A parked vehicle is not always a safe one. Drivers may swing their doors open unexpectedly and knock a cyclist to the ground.
Biking defensively can help New York City cyclists remain safe. Awareness of all possible dangers can reduce the risk of accident and injury.