NYC Bike Share Program: How to Safely Navigate NY Streets

Earlier this month, Citi Bike became a brand new method of transportation in New York City.  Starting June 2nd, this new bike initiative allows New Yorkers and visitors to the city to simply walk up to a Citi Bike station kiosk, buy a pass, and then take off!

There are stations all across Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, and a number of new stations are currently planned or in the works.  The Citi Bike website has a handy bike share station map, and you can also download the Citi Bike App to plan your route.

Bicycle Safety:

Before riding off on your Citi Bike it is important to keep in mind that you must be careful when bicycling in New York City. You should be sure to follow all of the rules of the road and wear proper safety gear.

Remember to always: a) Yield to pedestrians; b) Stay off the sidewalk; c) Obey traffic lights; and d) Ride with traffic.

While the new Citi Bike initiative will provide a new and more sustainable method of public transportation for many New Yorkers and other visitors to the city, it is important to know what to do in the event that you are involved in a bicycle accident.

What to Do if You’re Involved in a Bicycle Accident? 

  • Ensure Safety.   If anyone is injured, immediately call the police for help and tell them   you  need medical assistance.
  • Call the Police and Report the Accident.  In many ways, a bicycle accident is similar to a car crash in that you  should always call the police to get an accident report regardless of  whether or not someone is injured.  The police will arrive at the scene of the accident, and you’ll be able to file a report. In many cases, cyclists do not know that they’ve been injured until hours after the accident, and in some cases, minor injuries can lead to more serious problems down the road.  If you do not file an accident report, you may not be able to file a lawsuit for injuries you claim later in the legal process.
  • Make sure you tell the police officer your version of the events.  This is especially important if you’re involved in a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle, as sometimes the police will focus on the motorist.
  • Report all of your injuries to the police officer.  Report all injuries no matter how minor or inconsequential you think they are. You will need to have reported these injuries in order to recover damages later on.
  • Collect contact information from anyone else involved in the accident and any witnesses.   Make sure to also get the driver’s license number and license plate  number of any drivers or vehicles that were involved in the accident. 
  • Make a list for yourself.   Write down or record all of the details about the accident that you  remember, and any injuries that you sustained during the bicycle crash.
    • Take Pictures.  With today’s technology, most people can take accurate pictures from their phone. Take pictures of any personal or property damage that occurred in the accident.
  • Do not speak to any insurance companies before you’ve spoken to your lawyer Insurance adjusters can often seem friendly, but they’re doing their best to make sure that the insurance company won’t have to pay out a dollar more than they have to.  Anything you tell the insurance adjuster can later be used against you in a lawsuit, so you want to make sure that you know what to say.  An injury attorney can be your advocate when it comes to dealing with insurance companies.

What To Do After You Report the Accident:

  • Follow up with your medical care provider if you were injured in the accident.
  • You should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney.  There are specific issues involved in bicycle accidents, and an injury lawyer will know how best to proceed with your case.
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