Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

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Spring is officially here and Boston bicycle enthusiasts are ready to get rolling. bicycle12

Our Boston bicycle accident attorneys want to stress for those eager to finally get back out on two wheels that there are a few things you can do to make your trip safer. While of course you cannot make motorists pay attention, drive sober or exercise caution, you can make yourself obvious. You can ride defensively. You can make sure your bike is in good condition. You can wear a helmet and other safety gear to lessen your chances of serious injury.

May is National Bike Month, and it’s designed to promote the many benefits of cycling and encourage more people to try it. According to The League of American Bicyclists, the overall growth of bicycle commuting has grown by 62 percent from 2000 to 2013. In Boston, we’ve seen an explosion of bike commuting – a 122 percent increase in that same time period. It’s increasing by further leaps and bounds as tourists and residents become acquainted with Hubway, the low-cost, city-sponsored bike and helmet rental system.  Continue reading

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A man injured in a Boston bicycle accident has lost his bid to further pursue legal action against the company he claims caused the dangerous condition that resulted in his crash. The Massachusetts Court of Appeals recently ruled in Filepp v. Boston Gas Company Inc. the bicyclist failed to provide proper notice of injury to the defendant within the 30-day window.
Boston bicycle accident lawyers point to this case as an example of why one of the first things any injured party should do is contact an attorney. Although injury victims bringing ordinary negligence claims have three years in which to file, there may be other requirements about which you are not aware that we can help you to meet quickly, thus reserving your right to pursue litigation and collect compensation.

According to court records in the Filepp case, the plaintiff sustained serious injuries after he fell from his bike in Brookline while riding along Harvard Street. The plaintiff contends the reason he fell was because there was a two-inch rut in the pavement, created by the Boston Gas Company. The firm was reportedly conducting work on gas lines that ran underneath the street.
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Bike riding can be dangerous when drivers cause collisions or when bikers are otherwise involved in accidents. While most people are concerned about head injuries after a bicycle accident, a new report indicates that there is also another major risk of bicycle riding: the risk of genital and kidney injuries. old-1950s-bike-1429602-m.jpg

When a bike injury occurs because of a negligent driver or because of a badly designed bicycle, a Boston personal injury lawyer can help the affected victim to pursue legal action. In the case of a kidney or genital injury, the costs of medical treatment, missed work and pain and suffering may be significant.
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As more commuters and enthusiasts trade in their vehicle for two-wheels, the divide between cyclists and drivers continues to grow. Though motorists may become irritated by bikers weaving in and out of traffic or violating laws, cyclists will always be at a greater risk when involved in a collision. Negligent drivers, blind spots, inadequate bike lanes and other infrastructural issues can create hazards regardless of how safe cyclists are when sharing the road. Something as rudimentary as a loud bicycle horn may allow riders to give drivers the warning they may need to prevent an accident.

For drivers, loud horns have been able to prevent millions of accidents. Cyclists are not given the same advantage when trying to warn other motorists on the road. According to an interview on WBUR radio, with the “loud bike horn” inventor, the horn is one solution in reducing the number of bicycle collisions involving automobiles. Our bike accident attorneys in Massachusetts are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims. In addition to client advocacy, we are committed to raising awareness to help prevent future accidents and keep cyclists safe.
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More than 20 miles of bike lanes should be added in Quincy, suggests the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. Before last year, the city had absolutely no bicycle lanes, according to Enterprise News.
The council recently proposed a set of recommendations to the city’s planning board, and the main goal was to make the area more bike-friendly. Included in these recommendations is a plan to paint bike likes on a number of major roadways in the area by the end of this year.

Our Quincy bicycle accident attorneys understand that bike lanes are critical to encouraging sustainable commuting in our area. With these bike lanes, we will be able to encourage more bicycle traffic while creating very little impact on the city’s public works budget. Although the county already identified the 23 miles targeted to get these bicycle lanes, there are some streets that are “high priority” and should get these lanes as soon as possible. Included in these “high priority” areas are Washington Street, Hancock Street and Adams Street.
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The City of Boston is getting a gift aimed at safe traveling. According to Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the city has is the recipient of a $15.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant. The project has been dubbed the “Connect Historic Boston” initiative.
What this project is going to do is to create attractive, safe, and easily navigated bicycle and pedestrian connections between the city’s historic treasures and the public transit system. The grant is creating the opportunity for big change in the way we look at alternative modes of transportation and is going to allow more people to experience the city’s rich history on a personal level. This project is expected to greatly help out local businesses and create a whole slew of new tourism-related jobs. It’s also a key in the city’s Greenovate Boston initiative, which is used to help encourage locals and visitors to cut down on greenhouse emissions by cutting down on motor vehicle traffic.

Our Boston pedestrian accident lawyers understand that with more on-foot and two-wheeled traffic, we can expect to see more of these accidents. Any increase in traffic comes with an increase in accident risks. That’s why officials are turning to the motoring public. As such a densely populated area, we’re asking all motorists to be on the lookout for bicyclists and pedestrians. It’s important to remember that we all have rights out there on our roadways, and it’s important that those rights are acknowledged!
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Officials with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department recently announced that the prohibition on bike riding will remain in effect for Boston Common, Commonwealth Avenue Mall and the Public Garden because of the all the events held at the sites and because of the volume of foot traffic. Bicyclists are still able to travel on the properties — if they’re walking their bikes through, according to the City of Boston.
This announcement comes after a number of discussions between property abutters, bicycling advocates, Walk Boston, the Friends of the Public Garden and various other groups.

Our Boston bicycling accident lawyers understand that, although these meetings were very productive, there are still some disagreement that lingers regarding these areas and the nature of bicycling. The problem that officials see is that bicyclists come up quietly and swiftly behind pedestrians and are likely to catch them off guard. And that’s no good when you consider that these areas are some of the busiest for pedestrian traffic in the city.

These properties host some of the city’s most popular events, which makes sharing this space tough.

With today’s announcements, residents and visitors should note:

-There are signs that state where bicyclists are allowed to travel. These signs are located at these entrances.

-If you’ve got a bicycle, you’re still welcome. You’re just asked to walk your bike through instead of riding.

-Officials will continue the discussion on cycling in the area and will continue to push for safe routes for everyone.

-Bicycling is allowed in City of Boston parks only on those paths that are designated for bike riding.

But don’t think that bicyclists are getting shut out. There are still many bicycling events throughout the area. Coming up in the near future are the Hub on Wheels ride, September 22nd, and the TD Bank Mayor’s Cup Pro Race, September 21st.

Since Mayor Menino launched Boston Bikes in 2007, ridership in the City has more than doubled. Many other important strides have been made in safety, education, and facilities.

Both Commonwealth Avenue and Massachusetts were ranked as the most dangerous roads in the entire city. Close to 10 percent of the bicycling accidents in the city involved a pedestrian. About 35 percent reportedly involved a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, both men and women cyclists perceive cycling on off-road paths as significantly safer than biking on Boston streets. But we see here that that’s not oftentimes the truth.

When you’re riding out there, make sure you’re riding in a safe and designated area. Some roads have marked bike lanes to the right side of the road. In ideal circumstances, cyclists should stay to the left side of the bike lane in order to avoid potential road debris and to stay outside the radius of the doors of parked cars.
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Our Boston bike accident lawyers know that preventing cycling injuries is a top-concern in our city. In fact, bicycle safety is such an important issue that many of the candidates running for mayor have answered some questions for on their plans to improve cycling safety in the city. 1379253_directions_sign.jpg

The candidates face off in a primary election on September 24th, but in the meantime, their answers on bicycle safety are worth considering as many of the potential future mayors have some good ideas for preventing serious injuries or fatalities when traveling on bikes in Boston.

Bicycle Safety Plans Proposed by Potential Boston Mayors

According to, the safety plans suggested by the different mayoral candidates include the following:

  • Candidate John Barrows suggests improving safety by providing targeted safety training for groups that have high crash rates. This would include cyclists; MBTA and taxi drivers and university students. The candidate would encourage workplace and on-campus training. Finally, the potential mayor would also redesign and install bike facilities in areas with high crash rates; encourage helmet use; make low-cost helmets and illumination products available; and enhance data collection to learn more about bike accident risks.
  • Candidate Bill Walczak believes in the importance of helmet use and of biker and driver education. His plan for improving bike safety includes giving bike riders more clearly designated and more heavily protected bike lanes in all neighborhoods, and putting up signs to remind drivers and cyclists about driving safely.
  • Candidate Don Conley suggests that a public education campaign on sharing the streets safely would be a good step towards making cycling safer. Continuing with his educational approach, he also suggests micro-campaigns addressed at certain groups to address common mistakes. Helmet vending machines and kiosks around the city are also part of his plan, as are improved enforcement of traffic laws and the potential adoption of a mandatory bicycle helmet law.
  • Candidate Charles Clemons suggests a citywide PSA campaign as well as better enforcement of traffic laws.
  • Candidate Felix Arroyo believes that new infrastructure such as cycle tracks could be helpful in making biking safer. His plan also includes collecting more data about dangerous areas; raising awareness of bicycle dangers; and combining data from different government departments to better understand bike accident risks.
  • Candidate Ron Consalvo would create a “Share the Road” public education campaign, and would support the Boston Bikes program that is already in existence. Infrastructure improvements, updated crash reporting practices, and innovative engineering solutions are also part of his bicycle safety plan.
  • Candidate John Connolly wants to increase both cycle tracks and protected bicycle lanes. He believes in a “complete streets,” plan that incorporates cycling into all aspects of road design. He was a prior sponsor of the Hubway bike share initiative when serving on City Council and he wants to expand Hubway into more neighborhoods.
  • Candidate Marty Walsh indicates that he plans to initiate a comprehensive traffic flow review if elected mayor in order to improve bicycle safety and make the city move more smoothly. His plan also includes developing cyclist amenities including more bike lanes and share road markings, as well as bike stoplights and bike boxes at intersections. Finally, public awareness and public education on issues such as helmet use are important and he wishes to incorporate training in schools, driver’s education courses and community fitness programs.

It is good news that each of these different candidates takes bike safety so seriously, and it is also good news that this issue is important enough that believes this is an important concern for voters who will select the city’s next mayor. While each of the candidates has different ideas, hopefully whoever is elected will be able to make a significant difference in making the roads safer for riders.
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Recently, the Boston Globe addressed the so-called “image problem,” of Boston’s bicycling community.

According to the Globe article, many people incorrectly assume that Boston bicycle riders are all either hipsters and/or white, wealthy and middle aged. This image problem and the stereotype of bicycle riders has, according to the Globe, made it more difficult to make improving bicycle safety into an important political issue. 1347817_biker_in_the_curve.jpg

Our Boston bike accident lawyers know that improving bicycle safety is good for everyone throughout the city. By recognizing that bike riders are a diverse group and that improved safety measures can benefit everyone, hopefully lawmakers and local politicians will be able to make safety initiatives more of a priority. This is especially important as prime bicycling season is underway during the summer and everyone – drivers and cyclists alike- need to make a serious effort to be safe when sharing the roads.

Boston Bicycling Community is a Diverse Group

The perception of bicycle riders as hipsters or as wealthy white people has become so entrenched that there is even an acronym: MAMILS, which stands for middle-aged men in Lycra. The cyclist stereotyping has caused many, including some local politicians, to view bicycle safety issues as affecting only a small minority of local area residents. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that those individuals most vocal on bike lanes and bike safety programs tend to fit the stereotype of the rich middle-aged rider.

In reality, however, the Boston Globe indicates that bicycle riders are very diverse and that many people ride bikes as a matter of necessity. In fact, studies have shown that cycling is a growing method of transportation among both racial and ethnic minorities. Lower income individuals who are unable to afford the costs associated with a car also use bicycle riding as their means of getting to work and running essential errands.

This trend towards an increasingly diverse group of bikers isn’t isolated to Boston either. In 2011, for example, a Rutgers University study revealed that minorities are making up an ever-increasing share of bicycle riders throughout North America. In 2001, African American, Hispanic and Asian people made only 16 percent of cycling trips but in 2009, individuals within these ethnic groups accounted for 23 percent of rides. Yet, many of the minorities who are increasingly riding bikes do not tend to attend events organized by pro-cycling advocates.

Some Boston lawmakers believe that an important opportunity is missed by failing to engage all bicycle riders, including minority riders who may not traditionally speak out in favor of improved bike safety measures. By raising more awareness of safety issues and of the diversity of bicycle riders, bike safety can become a more popular cause and more politicians may be willing to take real action to improve conditions for cyclists in Boston. This would be good for all riders, especially as adults and kids take to the roads on their bikes for fun or pleasure this summer and beyond.
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A photojournalist with Boston University was riding his bicycle along Comm Avenue when a tractor-trailer swung wide. The bicyclist collided with the trailer and was killed. This is the University’s second student to die in a bicycle accident in a month, according to Wicked Local.
A local columnist is no stranger to these kinds of accidents either. During Labor Day, he was riding his bicycle in Buxford when a vehicle t-boned him. In the accident, all of his ribs on the left side were crushed, his collar bone was broken and his left lung was punctured. After roughly $300,000 in medical bills, he’s still spending much of his time in rehab.

Our Boston bicycle accident lawyers understand that there were nearly 10 bicyclists who were killed in the state in 2011. These accidents accounted for close to 2 percent of all traffic accidents reported in the state, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It’s surely no joy ride out there, but there are things you can do to help better ensure a safe journey.

In the state of Massachusetts, the law of the road concerning movement of vehicles says that bicycles are vehicles. This means that for the most part you should operate your bicycle like a driver of a vehicle. The rules are the same. You are a part of traffic and you have a right to expect to be treated as other drivers are.

To help to keep you save out there, consider the basics of traffic cycling:

-Go with the flow. You want to make sure that you’re riding with the flow. You never want to ride against oncoming traffic.

-Be on the lookout for traffic on bigger streets. You may have the right of way as a cyclist, but it’s important that you remember that drivers can’t always be relied on. You’ve got to fend for yourself, ride defensively and stay one step ahead of the vehicles around you.

-Always drive in a straight line. If you have to move out of the line, make sure you yield.

-Always cross the road at intersections. Use traffic lights and stop signs to your advantage. This is where traffic is most likely to see you.

-Avoid riding at night. This is when your risks for an accident are the highest. If you have to, make sure there are working lights on the front and rear of your bicycle. Wear bright colored clothing and make sure there are reflectors on your bike. Stay seen out there.

You can’t always avoid the dangers that come along with the dangerous driving habits of others. But you can best prepare yourself to react and to avoid these dangers. Stay alert out there and stay safe on two wheels. You have a right to that roadway, too!
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