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Understanding bicycling laws in New York

At just about any time of day, New York streets can be crowded with people trying to get from one place to the next. And whether they are in a cab, on foot, driving or riding a bike, they just want to get there as quickly as possible.

This congestion and fast pace can create a seriously dangerous environment, especially for those who are not in a car or truck. Bicyclists especially can be in danger on New York roads because they are required to share them with motor vehicles. This is why it is crucial that bicyclists and motorists understand what laws are in place to protect cyclists.

Bicyclists are required to comply with traffic laws, wear appropriate lighting or reflective tape, stay on the right side of the road and use hand signals when turning. However, even when a cyclist is in compliance with each of these rules, there is still the possibility of getting injured. 

This is because the safety of a cyclist also depends on motorists taking precautions and complying with laws as well. If a motorist is negligent or reckless, there may be nothing a cyclist can do to avoid getting injured in a collision.

New York laws state that motorists are expected to use caution when sharing the road with a bicyclist. This can mean giving riders enough room on the road, observing them at intersections, and staying out of designated bike lines. Unfortunately, too many motorists fail to take their responsibility to exercise due care seriously and they end up putting a bicyclist's safety and life in danger.

Considering the fact that bicyclists are relatively unprotected in crashes, it may be no surprise that the injuries they can suffer in an accident are often catastrophic. Riders can suffer broken bones, traumatic brain damage, spinal cord injuries and serious lacerations. These injuries can devastating and require intensive and ongoing care.

Injured riders may not immediately think about money after an accident, but it may not be long before medical expenses, unpaid bills and lost wages add up. This is why it can be crucial to explore the legal options for taking action against a negligent or reckless driver to pursue compensation. Of course money will not undo a serious accident, but it can help victims cope with the aftermath of such a frightening experience.

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