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Sharing the Road with Cyclists in New York

Here's what you need to know...
  • There are many cyclists on the New York City roads, and every motorist should pay attention to avoid accidents while sharing the road
  • Both motorists and cyclists must observe traffic rules since both of them have the right to use the road
  • Hogging the road is a traffic offense, and offenders can have their driver’s licenses revoked or subjected to hefty fines
  • Getting a special insurance coverage for cyclists can protect you from financial burdens should any accident occur while sharing the road with motorists

In large cities like New York, residents are always looking for alternative ways to get from point A to point B. Driving is susceptible to the usual transit delays and traffic jams.

One of the fastest growing group of commuters in NYC is cyclists – owing to the fact that cycling is fast, cheap, and convenient. Cyclists don’t get stuck in traffic, and finding parking has never been easier — spot the nearest pole, lock up, and walk away.

But what does the increase in the number of cyclists in New York mean for other road users? As a motorist, other than just being a safe driver, you’ve got other things to pay attention to when driving in New York.

Besides pedestrians and motorcyclists, you will be sharing the road with cyclists.

Let’s break down how to share the road with this growing group of commuters while keeping the number of crashes between motorists and cyclists at bay.

If you’d like to ensure your car’s safety in case you encounter a cyclist on the road, enter your ZIP code above and compare at least three to four auto insurance policies today!

What exactly does sharing the road mean?

Did you know that the first ever car accident to be recorded in the United States was in New York in the year 1896? Reports indicate that the accident was a collision between a car and bicycle.

It’s hard to imagine how that happened given that there were fewer cars on the roads at the time and the invention of the bicycle was only 25 years old, hence even fewer cyclists.

Therefore, as you can see, automobile accidents involving cars and bicycles are not new to the city.

According to the NYPD, there were 232 fatalities and 53,163 injuries resulting from crashes involving cars and bicycles in New York City between January and December of 2015.

Both cyclists and motorists need to observe traffic rules, which is where the concept of ‘sharing the road’ comes in. Simply put, everyone has the right to use the road, whether they are cycling, driving, or walking.

Sharing the road involves doing the best you can to ensure the safety of other road users.

Sharing the Road: Motorists vs. Cyclists


— Motorists

For a person driving in New York City, sharing the road with cyclists means being extra attentive to avoid a collision.

Pay attention to the shared lane markings meant to alert you of the possible presence of a cyclist. Give plenty of space to cyclists to prevent any problems if the cyclist has to move suddenly to avoid hitting something.

When you are done parking, use your rear view mirrors to look out for oncoming bikers before you open the door.

— Cyclists

Traffic rules apply to cyclists too, so obey them.

Always ride in the bike lane when you are presented with the opportunity — sometimes, there are obstructions on bike lanes.

It could be a group of pedestrians, a car parked temporarily, or a delivery truck. Pay attention to all traffic signals and road signs.

Running traffic lights can be very dangerous for a cyclist. Observe the rules to the right of way. That’s all normal, driving stuff.

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Tips for Sharing the Road

Both cyclists and motorists have the right to use public roads. To avoid accidents, all road users are advised to abide by all traffic rules in the city.

There are several things that both cyclists and motorists can do to reduce the likelihood of a collision. Take a look.

– Cyclists

You’ll see a lot of cyclists when walking or driving around New York City, including commuters, recreational cyclists, and utility cyclists — messenger and delivery services.

The city has a relatively flat terrain, short distances to cover, and a dense urban layout making it favorable for cycling.

However, there are challenges too. New York City streets are known for heavy pedestrian activity and traffic congestion.

Here are a few tips to help cyclists share the road with other road users.

  • Wear protective gear Anything can happen on the road. Wear a properly fitting helmet and other protective gear to avoid severe injuries. Also, make sure that you sport reflective clothing for visibility.
  • Communicate with other road users It’s not easy for bikers to communicate effectively with motorist since most bicycles don’t come with indicator lights. As a cyclist, you will have to depend on hand signals to get your message across.
  • Ride with the flow of traffic Also, familiarize yourself with the laws regarding bicycles. Traffic laws apply to all road users. Learn them and observe them. Road sharing is all about taking care of each other.
  • Get insurance coverage Purchase coverage and protect yourself from financial devastation in the event of an accident. Some providers have insurance products specifically designed for cyclists and pedestrians.

– Motorists

New York is the most populous city in the United States. As such, you’d expect a large number of motorists and cyclists in the city.

As a driver, you need to extra vigilant to avoid colliding with a bike messenger or delivery guy. Here are a few tips on how to share the road with cyclists on the streets of New York.

  • Be a safe driver Cyclists have a right to use the road too. Drive carefully and cautiously to avoid colliding with other road users.
  • Give space When driving alongside a cyclist, allow them enough space in case if they have to swerve to avoid hitting something or someone.
  • Be considerate Just because you are driving and the other person is on a bicycle doesn’t mean that you can bully them on the road. Be considerate of other road users.
  • Yield to cyclists A bicycle is the same as a car. Give way to cyclists. Be attentive, look at their hand signals to get the message they are communicating.
  • Be prepared Expect the unexpected. Add auto insurance products related to cyclists to your car insurance policy. This coverage will protect you from loss if you get in an accident involving a cyclist.

Sharing means that as a motorist or a cyclist, you are paying a high level of attention to make sure that the streets are as safe as they can to your fellow road users.

The issue of sharing the road boils down to two things:

  1. Don’t compromise the safety of others for their own convenience
  2. Don’t compromise your own safety for the convenience of another

Dangers of Hogging the Road


Hogging the road is a common occurrence on U.S. roads. Many people don’t even know it’s an offense.

If you are caught, you may end up losing your driver’s license or paying hefty fines.

Hogging can frustrate other road users such as cyclists, cause car accidents, and lead to injuries. Incidences of hogging on the road can lead to increased auto insurance rates or total loss of coverage.

Finding the Right Car Insurance for You

Car insurance is not only essential, but it’s also mandatory in most states.

Comparison shopping is key when looking to buy coverage for your car. It’s the most effective way to make sure that you are getting the best rates on your car insurance.

Go online and compare policies from various providers until you find one that best suits your auto insurance needs.

Enter your ZIP code below and start comparison shopping today for better auto insurance!

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