Feroleto Law, Buffalo NY

Take Extra Caution Near Bicycles, Motorcycles

Please take extra caution to watch for bicyclists. There have been numerous bicycle accidents in the Buffalo area and southern Ontario in recent weeks. As a personal injury attorney I see how an instantaneous distraction often causes serious personal injury.

Last Friday, a bicyclist was run over by a pickup truck turning right into a driveway on Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda, NY, north of the Youngman Memorial Highway, I 290. The man was taken to the Erie County medical center (ECMC) for leg and ankle injuries.

On the other side of the river, a bicyclist was struck from behind by a car on The Niagara Pkwy., Niagara Falls, Ontario Saturday. He was thrown from his bicycle and the car driver fled the scene. The bicyclist was taken to greater Niagara General Hospital. Niagara Parks police are looking for a sedan with damage to the passenger side front of the car, including the lights.

If you are riding a bicycle, nine safety tips can help keep you safe the next time you venture out for a two-wheeled excursion. Here are some tips courtesy of Buffalo attorney John Feroleto:
1. Wear a bicycle helmet.
A properly fitted bicycle helmet will protect your brain and may save your life.

2. Be visible.
Always wear bright, neon, or fluorescent colors to help others see you on the road. Wearing white is not proven to make you more visible. Reflective tape, markings, or flashing lights should also be worn while riding. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.

3. Maintain Control.
Always have at least one hand on the handlebars, and carry any loose items in a backpack or bicycle carrier to avoid distraction.

4. Watch out for road hazards.
Always be aware of potholes, broken glass, puddles, gravel, leaves, and dogs. Even a small hazard can cause a crash. If you are leading a group, always alert riders behind you of any upcoming dangers.

5. Follow the flow of traffic.
Ride on the right side of the road in the same direction as other vehicles. Never go against the flow of traffic.

6. Be predictable.
Ride in a straight line and signal any turns or lane changes to others before changing direction.

7. Look before turning.
Always look behind you for a break in traffic, then signal before turning. Be aware of other vehicles making turns and watch out for vehicles coming in or out of driveways. Always be sure the drivers see you before crossing.

8. Be aware of parked cars.
Maintain a safe distance from the curb to avoid the unexpected from parked cars (such as opening doors or cars pulling out).

9. Stay alert.
Don’t wear headphones when you ride. You need your eyes AND ears to avoid danger on the road.

Biking is a great way to get in shape, relieve stress, and build friendships, enjoy the road!

* this post was prepared in June, but delayed due to a pending trial in Erie County Supreme Court, which was resolved Friday, July 1.