Statistically speaking, commuting by bicycle is a predominantly male activity. In New York City, for example, just a quarter of the bike-share members who specified their gender in June 2019 were female. This was actually a 3-percentage-point increase from four years ago.
Unfortunately, as more women take to the roads on two wheels, the number of fatal bicycle accidents involving women has increased. By mid-July 2019, four women in NYC had already died in bicycle crashes. In 2018, there were 10 total cycling deaths in the city including both men and women.
There are several potential factors that might be contributing to the upward trend of female cycling deaths. To alleviate traffic congestion and reduce carbon emissions, the city has invested in extensive marketing campaigns to encourage people to cycle rather than driving. New bike lanes have also been constructed, which has made commuting via bicycle a viable option for a broader swath of the population. And with more cyclists on the roads, the frequency of serious accidents tends to increase.
Although some crashes are unavoidable, there are steps that both male and female riders can take to reduce their risk:
- Follow the Rules of the Road
Every state and many cities have cycling laws that were implemented to improve the safety of cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. Since these statutes can vary considerably from place to place, it’s wise to review the ones that apply to you.
Following the rules of the road will ensure you ride in a predictable manner so drivers can anticipate your next move. It may also reduce your own liability should you end up in an accident.
- Wear Adequate Safety Gear
Wear a brightly colored windbreaker when riding during the daytime and reflective clothing when riding at night. You should also don a helmet regardless of whether you’re planning to ride around the block or across the borough. Finally, your bike should be fitted with front and rear lights.
- Plan Strategic Routes
If possible, avoid riding at dawn or dusk, when visibility is low. And if you have to commute during rush hour, pick a route with minimal traffic, even if it means adding a few extra blocks to your trip.
- Eliminate Distractions
Listening to music while riding might be enjoyable, but it ultimately prevents you from focusing on the traffic around you. Eliminate all potential distractions so you’re ready to make an evasive maneuver should an unanticipated hazard arise.
Speak with a New York City Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love was struck by a negligent motorist while cycling, contact The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny. We will conduct a thorough investigation and gather the evidence needed to strengthen your claim. Call 212-421-0300 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a bicycle accident lawyer in New York City.