By: Lillian Swanson - The Naked City:
You might think the GoPro on your bike helmet is the coolest thing to keep a record of your ride through city streets or down country lanes. But to Joe Piscitello, a cyclist and a lawyer who specializes in handling bike-related accidents, that camera on your helmet will provide excellent proof of what went down when a cyclist is hit by a car — and help in the collection of damages to the cyclist and the bike. Just don’t record over it. The GoPro was just one piece of advice that Piscitello offered Thursday night at a free event sponsored by SPOKE magazine at the W/N W/N Coffee Bar on Spring Garden Street. SPOKE editors told fellow bike enthusiasts that a third edition of the free magazine was coming out soon. Piscitello also suggested that cyclists who have auto insurance should make sure they have what is called under insurance, which typically kicks in to pay when the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance. Under insurance can be used to pay for damages related to a cycle injury. Other tips: After an accident, take cell phone photos of your bike’s damage, the license plate of the car that hit you, and don’t be contentious at the scene. File a police report. The best advice, though, he says, is to avoid accidents all together by expecting every car in going to turn left on you and car doors are going to pop open in your face. And those runners on the path wearing earbuds? Each of those is going to turn around abruptly right in front of you. Piscitello himself plays a numbers game on each ride. “Every ride I take I count up the number of times I’ve saved my life or avoided an accident,” he says. That won’t guarantee your safety, he says, but “if you do that, you can avoid them or reduce them.” Smart move, from a guy who knows.