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Tips For Safe Winter Cycling In New York City

Tragedy has struck again as a 67-year-old bicyclist has died after colliding with a Toyota Prius in Chelsea on November 29, according to the Daily News

The cyclist, Josef Mittleman, was heading down 11th Avenue in the early afternoon and struck the car after pedaling through a red light. He suffered a catastrophic head injury in the crash which proved fatal in the hospital the next day. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the cyclists family as well as the driver of the car. This is a terrible situation for everyone involved, especially this close to the holidays.

In a day-and-age where commuting via bicycle is on the rise, it is time to take a closer look at what can be done to prevent such tragedies in the future. 

Is New York City Becoming A Hub For Cycling?

As reported earlier this year in The New York Times, the subway and taxis still rule the roost, but bicycles are making up a larger share of our city's commuting infrastructure. This includes "a fleet of 10,000 Citi Bikes" and "More than 450,000 daily bike trips in the city, up from 170,000 in 2005". 

Many new cyclists cite the increased costs and hassles of our subway system as their reason for cycling to work. The increase of cyclists on the road makes it more important than ever to create a safe environment for commuters of all stripes. This means that features such as bike lanes need to be considered when planning development and traffic control infrastructure. 

As winter quickly approaches, there are seasonal safety concerns that cyclists need to be prepared for.

Cycling Is No Longer A Seasonal Activity

It used to be rare to see people getting around via bicycle in New York City during the winter months. These days, innovative thermal wear and equipment such as winter tires make cycling a viable transportation option year-round

If you choose to join the increasing number of winter cyclists in our city, take the following precautions to protect yourself from the elements, motor vehicles, and other threats to your safety: 

  • Dress in layers: Having layers of clothing will allow you to adjust your wardrobe on the fly to match the weather conditions
  • Slow down: Keeping your speed a bit lower than usual will allow you to keep your distance from other vehicles and react more calmly in the event you hit a pothole or patch of ice
  • Follow traffic laws: This is important every time you get on your bike, but running stop signs or changing lanes without signaling your intention can be even more dangerous during the winter months when daylight and reaction time are in short supply. 

What To Do If You're Injured On A Bicycle

If you or a loved one is hurt in a bicycle accident, you may be able to obtain financial compensation for your injuries and other damages. Our personal injury attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy have recovered numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of accident victims. For a free confidential consultation, please call 212-736-5300 to speak with an experienced lawyer.