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Reported Somerville Bicycle Accidents Expected to Exceed Previous Years

There have been roughly 20 bicyclist deaths because of accidents this year alone, according to the Somerville Police Department. All of these bicyclist deaths involved a collision with a motor vehicle. The department received nearly 90 reports of bicycle accidents in Somerville in 2009 and only 66 in 2009, according to the Somerville Patch.

The Patch’s website offers residents with a map that shows exactly where each of these 2011 fatal bicycling accidents occurred. A number of these accident reports identify the road, but not the cross street of specific address where the collision happened.
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Our Boston bicycle accident attorneys understand that this summer weather provides the perfect opportunity for residents and visitors to hit the sidewalks and the roadways on their bicycles to enjoy the beautiful weather and to get some open-air exercise.

Unfortunately, this is also a time where we see an increase number of bicycling accidents in the state. It is important to remember that these are not the complete statistics for bicycling accidents because a number of cyclists that are involved in collisions with motor vehicles fail to report the incidents because they weren’t seriously hurt.

“A lot of the times,” said Sgt. David Monte, “No one wants to get involved because nobody wants to be found at fault.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released new data regarding bicycle accidents. The most recent data, figures from 2009, were recently released on their website. According to the NHTSA, there were nearly 650 bicyclists killed on our roadways during that year alone. More than 51,000 injuries were sustained because of bicycling accidents. These deaths accounted for 2 percent of all motor-vehicle traffic fatalities for the year, as did the injuries.

Nearly 75 percent of these bicycling accidents occur during the daytime hours, between 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. They’re also most likely to happen at non-intersection areas.

The average age of those who were killed while riding a bicycle was 41-years-old. During the last decade, this number has experienced a steady increase in both the age of the victim and the number of victims. Nearly 90 percent of bicyclists that were killed in 2009 were males. Massachusetts saw nearly 10 bicyclist fatalities in 2009 alone. This year is expected to be much, much higher with the preliminary data.

Motorists are urged to follow these safety tips to help keep our Massachusetts bicyclists safe, provided by The Department of Cambridge Community Development:

-Always look for bicyclists, especially when making a turn or parking your car.

-When you pass a bicyclist, make sure you’ve completely cleared the bike before moving back into your lane.

-Remember that cyclists who are not on the extreme right-hand side of their lane are not being careless, but are in fact trying to avoid hazards that could cause a crash.

-Always check for bicyclists before opening your car door.

-Never double park or park your car in a bike lane. It is not only unsafe, but illegal.

-Make sure you yield to bicyclists when turning.

-Bicyclists the right of way through intersections.

-Make sure you NEVER turn right after passing a cyclist. You should wait until they have merged behind you or completed their trip through the intersection.

The Boston bicycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC know that being involved in a serious or fatal Massachusetts traffic accident can be among the most trying experiences of a lifetime. If you have been injured, or someone you love has been injured or killed in a Boston bicycle accident, we can help. You can schedule a free initial consultation, by contacting us online or calling our offices at 1-877-617-5333 to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:

A Map of Bicycle Crashes in 2011, by Amanda Kersey, Somerville Patch

More Blog Entries:

Decrease in Massachusetts Bicycle Accidents — Awarded Top 10 “Bike Friendly State”, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, June 8, 2011

Springtime in Boston can lead to increased number of cycling accidents, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, April 21, 2011

Friendlier streets may reduce risk of Boston bicycle accidents, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, January 29, 2011