Riding motorcycles comes with safety risks in any city, and Manhattan is no exception. Impatient and distracted driving are typical in New York City, which can significantly impact the safety of other road users. In May 2022, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in New York shared that motorcycle crashes had increased by 50% since 2019. Even so, there are ways for bikers to stay safe.
Current Motorcycle Crash Statistics for New York
In 2021, 204 people died in 198 traffic accidents involving motorcycles in New York. Overall, motorcyclists are overrepresented in traffic accident statistics and account for 18% of New York’s crash fatalities across all motor vehicles. New York has launched several safety campaigns and expanded access to programs that help riders learn defensive riding skill sets. Still, the state continues to express concern about rising numbers during its riding seasons.
What It’s Like To Go Riding in Manhattan
Urban riding can be exhilarating but also intimidating. While riders in Manhattan may experience a sense of freedom and serenity, they will also face dangerous obstacles. These include congested streets, double-parked cars and potholes. As a result, motorcyclists need to exercise caution when navigating the roads.
Drivers remain the biggest threats to bikers. They often don’t see motorcyclists due to their smaller size and often fail to yield the right of way. When turning, it is essential to be aware of your surroundings, as that’s when most collisions occur.
Safety Tips for Riding Motorcycles in Manhattan
Riders should take extra precautions when navigating New York City streets. Here are a few ways to stay safe when riding in the Big Apple.
Get Defensive Riding Training
Defensive riding prepares bikers for poor or aggressive driving tactics. One woman told New York City DOT that just two days after learning a new maneuver in her defensive riding class, she had to use it to protect herself and her bike. She believes that learning how to ride defensively kept her safe.
Wear the Right Safety Gear
Proper safety gear is essential for motorcycle riders. Always wear a helmet, gloves, eye protection, long pants and shoes. When choosing a helmet, make sure it is DOT-approved and fits. Bikes expose riders, so these extra items provide additional protection if an accident occurs.
To stay safe on a motorcycle, riders must be visible to other drivers. Wear reflective clothing and consider adding lights to the handlebars. Make sure your bike is clean, as dirt can reduce visibility by blocking headlights or reducing the reflectivity of lights at night. Drivers will also easily spot you when you are riding in well-lit areas.
Be Aware of Road Conditions
The road condition is an essential factor to consider when it comes to motorcycle safety. Look out for hazardous conditions, such as potholes, uneven pavement and wet surfaces, which can cause you to lose control of the bike. Ride defensively around larger or poorly-maintained vehicles, as they can create dangerous situations.
Take Additional Precautions for Minors
The state of New York allows bikers to carry passengers of any age, including children. However, children must sit face-forward in permanent seats on bikes made to carry two persons or more and wear a DOT-approved helmet that fits correctly. Experts also recommend these additional safety precautions:
- Dress the child in leather or denim jackets to protect the shoulders and arms.
- Dress the child in sturdy boots and thick jeans to protect the legs and ankles.
- Dress the child in leather gloves to protect the hands.
- Consider using a harness or belt to secure the child, so he or she does not fall off the bike.
- Avoid dressing children in shoes with laces, as these can get tangled in the bike parts and create problems.
Keep Up With Bike Maintenance
Riders should always keep their motorcycle in top condition to ensure a safe ride. Check the tires and brakes regularly, as they are part of the bike’s most important safety features. Ensure all lights and signals are working correctly. Inspect the chains, sprockets and cables for signs of wear or damage.
Get To Know Your Bike
Getting to know your bike is essential for a safe ride. Get comfortable with the vehicle’s throttle, brakes and gears before venturing out onto the streets of Manhattan. This way, you’ll be better prepared to react quickly in any emergency.
Know the Rules of Lane Sharing in New York
Lane sharing is legal, but there are specific rules to follow. Motorcyclists must ride with no more than two bikers side-by-side in one lane and never impede traffic flow. In addition, riders should maintain at least a two-second gap between them and the bike ahead. Note that the state has determined it is unsafe for cars and bikes to share the same lane or ride and drive side-by-side.
Take Extra Care When Passing Parked Cars
Bikers should be extra cautious of car doors that may suddenly open when passing parked cars. To reduce the chances of an accident, maintain a safe speed when approaching parked vehicles and give them plenty of room.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Obey speed limits and do not tailgate. Always use turn signals and come to a complete stop at intersections. Being aware of your surroundings and staying within the law will ensure a safe ride in Manhattan.
How Hiring an Attorney Can Help After a Manhattan Motorcycle Crash
Riding a motorcycle in Manhattan can be a thrilling experience if done safely, but accidents are possible even with the best preparation. An experienced attorney can help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries if this happens. Here are some of the many ways they can help.
Reconstruct the Motorcycle Crash
An attorney can investigate the accident scene to reconstruct what happened and identify who may be at fault for your injuries. This includes gathering evidence, examining police reports and taking witness statements.
Negotiate With Insurance Companies
An attorney can negotiate with insurance companies. The goal is to maximize your compensation for medical bills and other expenses related to the accident. They may even be able to identify additional insurers that should pay out on the claim.
Calculate Compensation for Your Claim
An experienced attorney can also help you calculate damages for your claim, including lost wages and pain and suffering. He or she can ensure that the settlement amount is fair in light of all your damages. Damages may also include the cost of repairing or replacing your bike.
Handle Legal Proceedings
If necessary, an attorney can handle any legal proceedings involved in your case, such as filing a lawsuit or representing you at trial. An attorney can also advise you on legal issues related to the accident. If you need to testify in court, your attorney can prepare you to help you feel confident and at ease on the stand.
Why Choose Our Personal Injury Attorneys at Cellino Law
Having an experienced attorney on your side when seeking compensation for a motorcycle crash in Manhattan is invaluable. The insurance company will likely show up to court with a team of attorneys to argue its case, and so should you. We have recovered more than $2 billion for our clients and look forward to pursuing the maximum settlement for you. Contact us to get started.