As a New York resident, you may want to consider bicycling in city areas where driving is not always practical. There are many potential benefits to riding a bike, but there are also some challenges. Bicycling in busy areas may increase your chances of getting into an accident with a car or pedestrian. There are several essential safety tips to follow that may help keep you safe.

The New York City Department of Transportation provides vital information about riding a bicycle in the city. According to the DOT, you need to follow traffic laws when you are bicycling just as you would if you were driving a car. You should yield to pedestrians, ride in the direction of traffic and obey all lights and signs. Only children under 13 should ride on sidewalks; adults should ride on the street or in designated bike lanes.

Distraction may increase your chances of colliding with pedestrians and vehicles. When you are on your bicycle, avoid talking or texting on your phone. Wearing headphones may make it harder to pay attention to what is happening around you. You should also take steps to make it easy for others to see you. Wear bright, reflective clothing. You may also want to install reflectors and lights on your bicycle, especially if you plan to ride at night. One of the best ways to reduce your risk of injury is to wear a helmet. You may contact the DOT to schedule a helmet fitting to ensure you are wearing the right size. State law requires cyclists under 14 years old to wear a helmet.

This information on bicycle safety is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.