Is Buffalo, NY Safe For Cyclists?

Bicycling is an excellent way to get around in Buffalo, NY. It involves no carbon emissions, so it’s great for the environment. It’s also good exercise for you.

Unfortunately, the CDC reports that while bicycle trips account for only 1% of travels in the U.S., bicycle riders comprise 2% of the people killed in motor vehicle accidents.

The Dangers of Bicycling on the Road

Drivers in passenger cars often don’t see bicyclists. Even if motorists are being careful, bikes can be hard to see. Like motorcycles, bicycles are smaller than passenger cars — and they don’t make a noise like a motorcycle.

Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents

Even with protective equipment, you are vulnerable to injury in a bike accident. You often come in direct contact with the pavement if you fall. Common injuries include:

  • Broken collarbone: You can break your clavicle by trying to catch yourself with your arms while falling from a bike.
  • Hand or arm fracture: Other possibilities from trying to catch yourself are breaking your hand, wrist, arm or elbow. It depends on how you land after the fall.
  • Broken hip or leg: If an object or other rider hits you in an accident, you can break a bone in the lower half of your body.
  • Fractured ribs: Falling on your side can lead to broken ribs.
  • Road rash: It is common for riders to scrape against the pavement during a fall. The resulting abrasions can be superficial or may need skin grafts if severe.

Safety Precautions for Cyclists

While you can’t control what other drivers do, you can make your ride as safe as possible by taking some precautions.

Wear a Helmet

Your helmet should be comfortable and snug-fitting, touching your head all the way around. It should stay put through hard jolts and shakes. New York law requires all riders 14 years old and younger to wear helmets when cycling.

Obey Traffic Laws

Ride on the far right with traffic if the road has no bike lane. Use hand signals when braking and turning. Walk with your bike across busy intersections. Obey traffic signs and signals, and yield to pedestrians, emergency vehicles and approaching cars.

Wear Reflective Clothing

You can increase your visibility by wearing reflective, brightly colored clothing. These are especially important when you ride at night.

Use Lights

Headlights and taillights increase your visibility even in the daytime. At night, they are imperative.

Bicycle Hazards Around Buffalo

Buffalo is always adding more bike trails to accommodate the growing need for eco-friendly transportation. City officials are working to increase safety for cyclists. However, there are hazards that bicyclists need to be aware of when riding around town, whether on a trail or sharing the road with passenger vehicles.

Weather Conditions

Snow, ice and rain all pose dangerous hazards to cyclists in Buffalo. Trails may be unplowed or slippery. The city receives an average of 85 inches of snow annually, much higher than the national average of 28 inches. Residents can expect some form of precipitation on an average of 164 days yearly.

Construction

Road construction has the potential to close streets and bike paths. It also adds more perils to the roadway with equipment, cones, lane changes and other construction-related hazards.

Passenger Vehicles

Bicyclists in any city face hazards from other drivers. Speeding vehicles, drivers not watching for bicycles, or drivers who don’t give bicyclists enough leeway are reasons you should always be cautious when riding a bike.

Bike Paths in Buffalo

Fortunately, Buffalo has some excellent bike trails with beautiful views. You can find one whether you prefer countryside scenery or urban destinations.

Ellicott Creek Bike Path

Tranquil and scenic, this path is accessible from North Forest Road or Ellicott Creek Park. It is a reasonably flat asphalt trail with curves and straightaway sections.

Outer Harbor Bike Paths

Enjoy the views from the water’s edge on these paved asphalt trails. Use the Queen City Bike Ferry to connect the inner and outer harbors.

Tonawanda and North Buffalo Rail Trails

Taking you from the city to the suburbs, this bike trail runs along Shoshone Park, through Buffalo and all the way to Tonawanda Creek. Street crossings have button-activated lights to stop traffic.

What To Do if You’re Involved in a Bicycle Accident

If you’re in an accident with a passenger vehicle, you should get to safety immediately. Move to the side of the road or onto a sidewalk. Leave your bike at the scene, though, to preserve evidence.

Once you’re safe, here’s what to do next.

Call the Police

Even if you feel alright, you may still sustain injuries without realizing it. It is best to wait for the police to arrive. If you discover injuries later, it can help your case.

Exchange Information

Obtain the driver’s name, address, phone number and insurance information. It’s a good idea to get the vehicle’s make, model and plate number.

If there are witnesses, write down their contact information as well.

Don’t Admit Blame

Don’t negotiate with the motorist or admit fault. It is best to talk to the police and an accident attorney first. Likewise, don’t admit anything to insurance company representatives until you receive legal advice.

Document the Accident

Jot down details regarding the accident, including weather conditions, road hazards, traffic conditions and location. Take photos to document the direction and position of your bike and the vehicle if you can.

Preserve Evidence

If you have a damaged bicycle, torn clothing or other accident evidence, keep it intact until you seek legal advice. It may help later in an investigation.

Seek Medical Help

Even minor injuries can develop into something more serious later. In addition, you can be hurt without realizing it. Having a doctor examine you is a good idea to prevent future problems.

Contact a Legal Representative at Cellino Law

The attorneys at Cellino Law have years of experience working with personal injury cases. We can help you determine your next steps. If you have a case, we will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Call or visit our office today for a free consultation.

INJURED?
WE CAN HELP

CALL US NOW

Free Case Review

FREE CASE REVIEW

Testimonials

  • My experience during the time of negotiations was extremely positive. Josh Sandberg handled my lawsuit with the utmost integrity. He returned all my phone calls in a timely manner and answered all my questions. Josh made things less stressful. I would highly recommend Josh and the entire staff at Cellino Law.

    Arthur

  • Cellino Law is an amazing firm with a great team. I worked with Greg Pajak and his assistant, Tracey Falconer. I cannot express enough how dedicated they are. The personal attention I received was excellent; they were always available to help with questions and concerns and put me at ease in the unknown territory I found myself in. I highly recommend them to anyone needing representation. A huge thank you to them for all they accomplished for me!

    Liane

  • This is to express our gratitude to you and your team in helping us and Stephanie navigate through the legal process following her car accident. We are very satisfied with the outcome and grateful for your hard work and attention to details. We fell confident that with this compensation, Stephanie will be able to move forward with her studies and her life with the ability to care for some of her health needs resulting from the injuries sustained following her car accident. Thank you very much and may God continue to bless your efforts.

    Jose & Rose

  • Thank you for your efforts on my behalf. I am very pleased (and surprised) at the amount of the settlement. We will use the funds to help pay down the debt on the truck we had to purchase after ours was totaled. Thank you again.

    Linda

  • I want to thank your law firm for settling my lawsuit where others failed. You treated me with the utmost respect and care, because of your law firm the dream of owning my own home finally came true. For the first time in a long time, we're living out our dream home. Thank you a million times over. Thank you for making my dream come true.

    Marcy

  • I am writing to let you know what an outstanding job George Gridelli did for me in my personal injury lawsuit. His professionalism and expertise were evident at our first metting and he and his paralegal Diane D'Andrea took care of me as if I was a friend and not merely a client. They both went above and beyond for me in so many ways that it would be too numerous to list and I am grateful to have had such an exemplary team represent me. When working with George and watching him in court he personified to me what a lawyer is supposed to be - an honest, extremely compentent man who helped guide me through the legal system. I could not have obtained better representation anywhere else at any price. To me that says a lot abut you and your firm's integrity. Thank you again for representing me and for having such stellar individuals working for you! I will continue to recommend your firm.

    Carol