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October 19, 2023 | Personal Injury

Do I Have to Wear a Bicycle Helmet in NYC?

You Can Sue Even If You Weren’t Wearing a Helmet

Wearing a bicycle helmet may be required in New York City depending on where you’re riding. But if you were in a bicycle accident, you may be able to sue even if you weren’t wearing a helmet.

The experienced attorneys at Ajlouny Injury Law can help you if you were in a bicycle accident, whether or not you were wearing a helmet. Contact us today for more information. In the meantime, here are some bicycle safety tips.

Safety Tips for NYC Cyclists

There are several things you can do to stay safe while riding your bike on the streets of NYC.

  • Wear a helmet.
  • Use turn signals.
  • Avoid sidewalks.
  • Stay off the highway.
  • Ride with traffic.
  • Never ride more than 2 abreast.
  • Give pedestrians the right of way.
  • Ensure your equipment is working.
  • Have a headlight and tail light.
  • Put reflectors on your wheels and clothing.
  • Ride several feet into the roadway when necessary.

Cyclists should also use bike lanes wherever they are available. NYC DOT website reports that there are 1,525 miles of regular bike lanes and 644 miles of protected bike lanes throughout New York City.

Should I Wear a Bicycle Helmet?

A bicycle helmet is recommended for all riders, especially on dangerous NYC streets. Wearing a helmet doesn’t keep you from being injured in an accident, but it does prevent some severe injuries. 

According to the National Institute of Health, helmets reduce the likelihood of a head injury by 85% and a brain injury by 88 percent. A bicycle helmet also reduces the likelihood of a facial injury by up to 65% for the upper and mid facial regions.

What is the Bicycle Helmet Law in NYC?

A bicycle helmet is not required by NYC law in most of the city. However, Erie and Rockland counties require all riders to wear a bicycle helmet. You may also be required to wear a bicycle helmet in some communities. Cyclists must also follow most of the rules of the road to avoid a bicycle accident, with obvious exceptions.

In most of NYC, all bicycle riders under the age of 14 must wear a bicycle helmet. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children are wearing an approved bicycle helmet. All other riders are not required to wear a helmet.

A Helmet is Optional - Driver Liability is Not

Throughout most of New York City, it is up to you to wear a bicycle helmet. While you absolutely should wear a helmet, not wearing a helmet doesn’t make an accident your fault. A driver that negligently causes a bicycle accident is at fault whether or not the cyclist was wearing a helmet.
The attorneys at Ajlouny Law have helped more than 10,000 New Yorkers just like you. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact us today at (718) 233-3913 for a free consultation.

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