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Tips for winter commuting on a bicycle

If you live in New York City, sometimes it makes more sense to commute to work on a bicycle than on public transit. It’s fast, eco-friendly, and gives you a workout. According to nyc.gov, there are about 490,000 cycling trips made every day in the city.

But commuting on your bike during the winter can be challenging and sometimes dangerous. This article will give you some tips on how to stay safe and reduce your risk of getting into an accident while commuting.

  1. Try to ride on streets and trails that have already been snowplowed. In New York, there are 1,240 miles of bike lanes, and thanks to the metropolitan’s infrastructure, the streets get plowed regularly. Try to stay in the bike lanes when you can.
  2. Watch out for ice and salt on the roads. Both can cause your tires to skid, making you lose control and potentially steer into car traffic. Salt and snowplows sometimes create cracks in the pavement, so watch out for those as well.
  3. Practice defensive riding by making eye contact with car drivers and being prepared to adjust quickly for someone else’s bad driving.
  4. Designate one bike as your winter bike. Ice, snow, rain, salt, and frozen grit can damage bikes, so you don’t want your prized mountain bike exposed to those elements. Snag a cheap bicycle and add winter wheels, bright lights, and reflectors to it to make it winter-ready. Since it’s cheap and not your primary bicycle, making repairs and keeping it maintained will be easier.
  5. Pick the right tires. Fat, studded winter tires provide more traction in snow and ice and ride smoothly over bumps and cracks that skinny tires could get stuck in.
  6. Keep your bicycle clean and cold when you’re not using it. Store it in a backyard shed or lock it outside to keep it cold. Cold bikes are less likely to form ice on the brakes and gears.

Contact a New York bicycle accident lawyer

If you were hurt in a bike accident caused by a negligent driver, defective roadway, or another form of negligence, contact a New York bike accident lawyer at Hach & Rose, LLP for help right away. Our team will be ready to stand up for you when you call (212) 779-0057 to discuss your case.


Bicycle maintenance tips every commuter needs to know

If you are one of the 48,800 daily bicycle commuters in New York City, you need to know how to maintain your bike so you can keep riding safely. If there are undetected problems with your brake pads or gears, your risk of getting into an accident increases if these parts malfunction. Take a look at the bicycle maintenance tips below to learn how to best care for your bike.

  1. The most basic rule of thumb when it comes to bicycle maintenance is keeping your bike clean. Riding through city streets can leave your bike covered in dirt, dust, grit, and other nasty debris that could corrode it. Cleaning your road bike about once a month will prolong its lifetime and make maintenance less of a hassle.
  2. Check your tire pressure before every ride. The tire pressure can change depending on the outside temperature, so especially during the colder months, you should test out your tires before going out.
  3. Check your brake pads for signs of wear and tear. If they scrape or stick when you brake, or if the grooves in the pads are worn out, it’s time to get new ones.
  4. Regularly clean and lubricate your drive chain to extend the life expectancy of your bike.
  5. Learn how to fix a flat inner tube. Riding on city streets exposes your tires to glass, nails, and other harmful debris that could puncture your tires. Chances are you won’t be able to repair your tire on the side of the road on your way to work, but every bicyclist needs to know how to fix a punctured tire.
  6. Keep your tires inflated even if you know you won’t be riding your bike for a couple of months or years. This will help prevent cracks in the side of the tires and keep you from having to pay for new ones.

Contact a New York bicycle accident lawyer

If you were involved in an accident, contact the New York bike accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP. Our team of dedicated injury lawyers will do everything in our power to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us at [phone number] to schedule your free consultation today.


Bicyclist safety on the road and steps to take in case of an accident

If you ride your bicycle in and around New York City, chances are you have either seen someone else get hit or have almost been hit by a vehicle yourself. If you happen to be the victim of a collision, this post will also tell you what your next steps should be.

Bicycle safety tips

AAA offers some tips to keep in mind when riding your bike to reduce your risk of collision. 

Always wear a helmet

New York state law does not require adults to wear bicycle helmets, but studies have shown that having that extra piece of protection may reduce your risk for injury in case of an accident. Children under the age of 14 are required by state law always to wear a helmet when on a bicycle. 

Abide by traffic laws

You must ride with the flow of traffic, use turn signals, and abide by stoplights. When possible, use bike lanes and crosswalks, but do not ride on sidewalks. 

Use the entire lane when turning

When possible, try to take up enough space in a turning lane, so drivers are aware that you are there, and so that they won’t overtake you and potentially hit you. If you are turning left, try staying to the right side of the lane, then, once you have made the turn, move quickly to the right shoulder so cars can pass you if they need to. 

What to do if you have been involved in a bicycle crash

Below are some helpful tips if you’ve been hurt in a crash:

Report it the accident

According to the New York State Department of Transportation, if you were involved in a collision with a vehicle that occurred in severe injury or death, you must report it to the Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days of the incident. 

Do not speak with the driver’s insurance company

There is no reason why the victim should need to be in contact with the insurance company of the car driver. That’s what a personal injury attorney is for. The insurance company will try to weaken your case and give you as little money as possible. 

Hire a lawyer

New York’s “no-fault” law covers the victim’s medical bills regardless of whose fault the accident was. However, if the bicyclist was seriously injured and their medical bills exceed $50,000, then they have the right to file a personal injury claim against the driver for more compensation. A personal injury attorney can help guide you through the process of filing a claim. 

If you have been the victim of a bicycle accident, reach out to an experienced New York bike accident lawyer at Hach & Rose, LLP. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us at (212) 779-0057 for a free consultation today.


New York City’s Cyclist Death Toll is Rising

Riding your bicycle to work may seem like the most environmentally responsible move to make these days, rather than hop in your car and burn more fossil fuels. But if you live in a big city like New York, you may want to think twice.

A growing city population means more people on the roads, but the city government can’t keep up with the infrastructure improvements needed to make the city bike-friendly. NYPD data, according to an article by City Limits, reports that 27 NYC cyclists have been killed as of mid-December. But why is this number so high, when in 2018 the number of cyclist fatalities was only 10? There are a few factors, which become more lethal when they all occur simultaneously. The article outlines a few of them, below.

Distracted Driving

Smartphones are a major contributor to cyclist deaths because they tend to distract drivers with incoming texts, unopened Snapchat messages, Instagram likes, emails, etc. According to statistics from The Zebra, 51% of drivers with iPhones admitted to texting while driving, and roughly one-third of them said they take photos while driving.

Amazon Prime and other Delivery Services

The popularity of convenient services such as HelloFresh, Amazon Prime, Favor, UberEats, and Instacart spurred ramifications across industries, but its most tangible effects are seen in the increased number of delivery vehicles on the roads. With these vehicles stopping and going, illegally parking in bike lanes, and adding congestion to overcrowded streets, bicyclists are left without ample cushion between them and their delivery trucks.

The Mayor’s Green Wave

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to the cyclist crisis by unveiling the “Green Wave” plan meant to better protect cyclists in his city by building more bike lanes and conducting more bike safety outreach programs. But only time will tell whether police authorities can effectively implement this plan, or if lax enforcement will put riders back at square one.

Contact a New York Bike Accident Lawyer

Were you hurt in an accident as a cyclist in New York? If so, you could be owed significant compensation if your injuries were caused by a negligent motorist, defective bike part, or defective road condition. To get the full compensation you’re owed, be sure to contact Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 to speak with one of our experienced NYC bike accident lawyers right away.


“Dooring” Accidents in New York City: How Do They Happen?

“Dooring” accidents are a type of traffic collision that takes place when a bicyclist or other road-user crashes into a motor vehicle’s open door. In some cases, these accidents are caused by a vehicle occupant failing to check for oncoming traffic before opening the car door. In other cases, the vehicle occupant may have negligently left the car door open. To avoid colliding with the door, bicyclists or motorists will sometimes quickly swerve to move out of the way. This sudden swerve may cause a secondary collision, as the bicyclist or motorist could potentially collide with another vehicle in the next lane over. 

In the state of New York, dooring accidents have become such a prevalent issue that policymakers have developed laws designed to prevent them. According to the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, Sec. 1214:

  • No one can open the door of a motor vehicle that faces moving traffic until it is reasonably safe to do so, and that door can be opened without interfering in the movement of other traffic.
  • No one can leave the door of a motor vehicle that faces moving traffic open for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Statistics show that dooring accidents accounted for almost a fifth of all bicyclist injuries in 2011. Additionally, eight bicyclists were killed in dooring accidents between 2006 and 2016 in New York City. Although laws have been written with the intent of reducing the incidence of dooring accidents, they are still a major point of concern for bicyclists within New York. Whether you are a motorist or a bicyclist, there are safety measures you can take to help reduce your risk of being involved in a dooring accident:

  • Drivers – drivers are encouraged to practice the “Dutch Reach,” which is a special way of opening a car door. All you have to do is reach with the hand that is furthest from the door to open it. By reaching with your far hand to open your vehicle door, you are moving your body in a way that causes you to turn your head back and observe the traffic behind you. Of course, it is always prudent to check your rear and side-view mirrors for oncoming traffic before exiting a vehicle, but practicing the Dutch Reach is a good way to ensure that you absolutely do so.
  • Passengers – passengers are always advised to exit curb-side only, and to never exit from a vehicle that is paused in a travel lane. Make sure that the vehicle is parked in the appropriate lane before opening the door to exit.
  • Bicyclists – it is generally advised that cyclists maintain a safe distance from vehicles, ideally enough to accommodate an open door. A distance of 1.5 meters is usually enough to avoid a collision.

Contact a New York Dooring Accident Attorney

In areas where traffic volumes are high, being involved in a dooring accident can be devastating for a bicyclist. In fact, it can even be fatal. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a dooring accident, contact Hach & Rose, LLP to speak with an experience New York bike accident lawyer at (212) 779-0057 today.

 

 

 


The Green Wave Safety Plan: Is It Effective?

On July 25, 2019, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released the $58.4 million “Green Wave: A Plan for Cycling in New York City.” Just four days later, Streetsblog New York City reported that the death of a 30-year-old bicyclist near the intersection of Third Avenue and 36th Street was the 18th cyclist fatality of the year, one year after the New York Police Department (NYPD) reported that 24 bicyclists were killed in crashes involving motor vehicles.

The plan stated that since the adoption of Vision Zero in 2014, New York City increased the miles of bicycle lanes to 1,243, including 83 miles of protected lanes. The average of 62 miles of bicycle lanes added a year for the past three years was the largest increase in the country.

The Green Wave plan calls for 30 miles of protected bike lanes to be built annually, an increase from the current rate of approximately 20. The plan also seeks to build 75 miles of bicycle infrastructure in 10 Bicycle Priority Districts (seven in Brooklyn and three in Queens) by 2022, and to have one of every 10 trips in New York City be taken by bicycle by 2050.

The plan states that the Department of Transportation (DOT) will install more than 20 miles of protected bike lanes in all five boroughs in 2019. There will be a goal of 75 miles total in Bicycle Priority Districts by 2022.

The Green Wave plan also called for immediate actions such as doubling the current Citi Bike service area by 35 miles and tripling the number of bikes to 40,000 by 2023 (the plan stated that Citi Bike is the largest bike-share system in the country, with 82 million Citi Bike trips since its launch and a record of 85,000 trips per day). The borough-wide dockless bike-share on Staten Island will be launched in 2019, and the city will increase its annual target of protected bike lanes (PBLs) from 10 PBL lane miles to 30 PBL lane miles. Overall, the city seeks to install more than 80 miles of protected bike lanes by the end of 2021.

The name Green Wave is derived from the event in which traffic lights are coordinated to allow people to pass over multiple intersections without stopping because of multiple green lights, but such light patterns are customarily more tailored to motor vehicles traveling at much faster speeds than bicycles. The DOT will experiment with a green wave for bicyclists that may help reduce the number of red-light crashes in the city.

The plan also states that DOT will implement traffic calming treatments at 50 intersections with a high number of bike injuries in 2019. The NYPD will also extend elevated enforcement of blocked bike lanes and hazardous driving violations, while cyclists will no longer be ticketed after fatal crashes.

Contact Hach & Rose, LLP for Help

Were you hurt in an accident as a cyclist in New York? If so, you could be owed significant compensation if your injuries were caused by a negligent motorist, defective bike part, or defective road condition. To get the full compensation you’re owed, be sure to contact Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 to speak with one of our experienced NYC bike accident lawyers right away.

 


Phelps, NY – Bicyclist Seriously Hurt in Crash with Pickup Truck

Phelps, NY – Bicyclist Seriously Hurt in Crash with Pickup Truck

Phelps, NY (July 3, 2019) – A man is currently in critical condition after being hit by a pickup truck while riding a bicycle in the town of Phelps. The accident was reported to have taken place around 9:15 a.m. on Sunday morning, June 30th, on County Route 23, just west of Jones Road, according to authorities.

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Levittown, NY – Update: 13-Year-Old Struck and Killed on Bicycle

Levittown, NY – Update: 13-Year-Old Struck and Killed on Bicycle

Levittown, NY (July 1, 2019) – A 13-year-old boy was tragically struck and killed by a motor vehicle while riding his bike on Hempstead Turnpike in the Levittown on Sunday evening, June 30th. Authorities have not specified the exact time of the incident but it was reported to have happened sometime around 6:00 p.m.

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Brooklyn, NY – 29-Year-Old Bicyclist Hit and Killed by Cement Truck in Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY – 29-Year-Old Bicyclist Hit and Killed by Cement Truck in Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY (July 1, 2019) – A 29-year-old woman was reported to have been riding a bicycle when she was fatally hit by a cement truck in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. The tragic accident was stated to have happened around 12:00 p.m. at the intersection of Boerum Street and Bushwick Avenue.
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Levittown, NY – 12-Year-Old Injured in Bicycle Accident on Turnpike

Phelps, NY – Bicyclist Seriously Hurt in Crash with Pickup Truck

Levittown, NY (June 30, 2019) – Early this evening around 6:00 p.m. on June 30th, a 12-year-old was seriously injured in a bicycle accident on the Hempstead Bethpage Turnpike. (more…)


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