There are many incentives for people in New York to bike instead of drive. Between heavy traffic levels in many parts of the city and rising gas prices, driving everywhere can be a frustrating and expensive practice. There’s also the constant risk of theft, vandalism of your vehicle or even a crash.
Cycling means getting fresh air, having more freedom to avoid traffic jams and plenty of exercise. You have more options for safely (and cheaply) storing your vehicle as well. Unfortunately, cycling also comes with the risk of serious injuries if you get into a crash caused by someone in a vehicle.
With heavy population density and aggressive cyclists and drivers alike, New York City does see a significant number of bicycle-vehicle collisions every year. If you plan to hit the streets this summer, safety should be your first priority, as 2021 has been a dangerous year so far for cyclists.
How many cyclist injuries have already occurred?
So far in 2021, there have already been 1,730 reported bicycle injuries according to the New York Police Department. Cyclists have been in far more crashes halfway through the year than they experienced in all of 2020. Last year, the total reported bicycle injuries were 1,249. This massive jump in crashes will no doubt require additional scrutiny and possible policy changes.
Obviously, there are many factors that contribute to this discrepancy, including lockdown in 2020 reducing the number of cyclists and vehicles on the road. Still, it is worrying that this year could potentially double the number of bicycle crash injuries that occurred last year.
How cyclists can help protect themselves
There will always be a risk when you go out on your bike, but there are obviously ways you could reduce that risk. One of the most important steps you can take is making an investment in good safety equipment. Visibility gear and also help keep you safer.
Proper bike maintenance and careful adherence to traffic laws can also limit the likelihood that you will get hurt if you go out for a bike ride on the New York City streets. Knowing your rights is also important in case you wind up hurt in a crash while biking.