New York is one of the largest and greatest cities in the world, but it is not without its dangers. Many of these are simply a result of so many people living in such a small area and everyone trying to get somewhere at the same time. You may be riding down the street, minding your own business when a car comes out of an alleyway and cuts you off causing a collision. This is going to be a bad day for everyone involved, so here are a few tips for avoiding these unpleasant and potentially costly encounters.
Use Bike Lanes
While these may not be available everywhere, they are continuously being rolled out. Bike lanes and streets are great for residents and visitors who may want to rent a bike in NYC. This is simply a side road specifically for bikes. Since riding on the sidewalk is frowned upon at best and straight illegal at worst, these are an invaluable tool for bikers in the city. These lanes are setup similar to a normal street, and you should treat them as such. Follow all applicable traffic laws to keep this excellent and safe option available for everyone.
Take it Slow
Unless you are in a huge rush, then feel free to take it slow on your commute. Especially if your office does not have a shower, you do not want to show up to work drenched in sweat. If you choose to ride slowly then treat bike lanes like you would a highway, slower bikers keep right.
Be on Guard
Never assume someone has seen you. If you are coming up to a car with their door cracked, assume it will open just in time for you to hit it. Likewise, if you see a pedestrian approaching the bike lane then assume they will step in front of you. In short, treat everyone like they are trying to kill you. This will keep you more alert and help you respond if someone does step out in front of you or open their door as you are approaching.