Don’t Text and Bike, Distracted Bicyclists Pose Risks

LaMarche Safranko Law has represented countless victims of distracted driving each year. Although 11 teens die every day as a result of texting and driving, the same dangers exist for distracted bicyclists as well.[1]

Is Texting While Biking Legal?

Many states are currently toying with legislation that would outlaw distracted biking, with nearly identical restrictions as driving. In fact, one of the leading arguments for the restriction is based on the risks posed by any moving body, which puts other people or property at risk.

Many states have moved to outlaw distracted biking, but have used different strategies in doing so. While places in Chicago and Arizona have already outlawed texting and biking, other states like California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia have passed laws which restrict the use of headsets or earplugs while biking.[2]

The Dangers of Texting While Riding a Bike

Texting or using a phone while biking poses a serious risk to the rider, as well as nearby pedestrians and motorists. Cyclists who are looking at their phones while riding may not see hazards like potholes or road debris that may cause them to crash. Additionally, distracted bikers may slow down, swerve, struggle to balance or enter intersections without looking, creating a hazard and distraction for other bikers, drivers and pedestrians nearby. Distracted cyclists might also collide with pedestrians or vehicles if they are not paying attention to their surroundings, causing injury to themselves and others as a result of texting while bicycling.

Some may point out that a bicycle won’t cause as much damage as a vehicle, but a distracted cyclist can easily distract a motorist. And while some argue that distracted biking only draws attention away from the distracted driving movement, we believe that both campaigns deserve our attention.

Protect Yourself & Others: Don’t Text While Biking

At LaMarche Safranko Law, we have seen our fair share of bike and vehicle injuries and safety is our ultimate priority. We advise drivers of cars and riders of bikes to always use their best judgment and never engage in any distracting or reckless behavior.

Though texting while biking may not be illegal in New York (yet), it is very dangerous and puts you and those around you at risk for serious injury. Next time you go out for a bike ride, keep this in mind, stow your phone away and enjoy your ride without distraction!

Looking for more bike safety tips and details on the rules of the road? Check out our bicycle news for more information on how to ride safely.

[1] Cell Phone Use While Driving Statistics, Edgar, Snyder & Associates (July 8, 2016).

[2] Jenni Bergal, Cities and States try to Crack Down on Distracted Bicycling, Stateline (Nov. 15, 2015).

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