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Warmer spring weather brings with it the risk of a bike accident

For many people, the real sign that spring has sprung is the ability to cruise around town on a bicycle without a dozen protective layers of warm clothing. In many respects, New York is a relatively bike-friendly city. New York City has carefully tracked bike accident statistics and taken steps to reduce serious injuries and deaths to cyclists around the city. It's no wonder that so many people enjoy two-wheeled transportation in the City.

Roughly a quarter of New Yorkers ride a bike at least once a year. Of that group of cyclists, a little over a third only ride a few times a year. Roughly 17 percent ride at least one time a month, and the remaining 49 percent of bike enthusiasts ride at least a few times each month. Sadly, at least some of those people will experience a bike crash before the fall removes most cyclists from the public roads again.

Visibility is often a critical factor in car-bike collisions

For many people who get on a bike, the ride will be uneventful. They will enjoy the fresh air, exercise and mobility that biking allows. Following safety rules and local laws can help reduce any risks. For a small number of people on bikes, however, the potential exists for a collision or crash with a much larger passenger vehicle. When that happens, the person on the bike usually sustains very serious injuries, especially when compared with the people in the car.

There are many complications for bikes that share the road with larger, motorized vehicles. One of the biggest and most pressing issues is the problem with visibility. All too often, the people in larger vehicles that end up in collisions with cyclists somehow fail to see those on road riding bikes.

Take it slow when acclimating to biking on the road again

Although it's probably only been a few months since you've shared the road with larger vehicles, you should give yourself time to get comfortable on a bike again. Before your first ride, take the time to check your bike for signs of wear or other issues. Be sure to inspect the brakes, cables, gears, tires and any lights or reflectors to ensure functionality. Make any repairs you need to or take your bike to a professional for a spring tune-up.

Take a little time to review New York bike laws about sharing the road. Make sure you remember how to safely bike on New York streets before you head out. You should also ensure that your safety gear, like your helmet, is in good condition. Replacing anything damaged or worn is always the best decision. New lights and reflectors on your bike, your helmet and even your biking clothing can help ensure that people in vehicles can see you when you're nearby.

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