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Hit-and-run accidents have been on the rise in major cities in recent years, spiking more than 13 percent in a recent three-year time frame. In some places, like Los Angeles, it’s so bad that half of all crashes in the city involve at least one driver who fled the scene. In total, these accidents kill about 1,500 people a year – disproportionately affecting pedestrians and bicyclists. In fact, 60 percent of hit-and-run fatalities are pedestrians.bicycle9

Just recently in New York City, friends and family gathered in Brooklyn to remember the 35-year-old founder of a company called Bikestock, a bike repair vending machine business and avid bicycling advocate, who was riding home form his night job when a black Chevrolet Camero with tinted windows struck him around 2:30 a.m. He was dragged for a distance. The driver didn’t stop. He was later pronounced dead. It was the 12th cycling fatality in New York City this year, compared to five this time last year. Said a police investigator, “Most of the time, it’s errant and lawless motoring that is to blame.”

Several states, including Texas, Florida, Arizona and Colorado have increased criminal penalties for hit-and-run drivers. In Massachusetts, M.G.L. c. 90 s. 24 makes failure to stop after a collision a misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of up to 2 years in jail, a $200 fine and between 60 days and 1 year of license loss. Of course, that assumes the driver got caught. So here does all this leave Boston bicycle accident victims?  Continue reading

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A bicyclist in Cambridge was struck and killed in Inman Square recently, prompting a vigil and a lasting memorial we’ve come to see with increasing commonality in Boston: The ghost bike. bikememorial

The 27-year-old cyclist, Amanda Phillips, was allegedly hit by a landscaping truck at the intersection of Cambridge and Hampshire Streets around 12:15 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon. She was in critical condition following the crash and was transported to Mass. General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Witnesses told investigators Phillips either swerved to avoid an opening door of a sport utility vehicle or was actually struck by the door and thrown into the path of the truck. One nearby resident told reporters the Cambridge intersection has been a huge problem for decades, and it’s gotten even worse as the number of bicyclists has ballooned in recent years.  Continue reading

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In an effort to highlight the varying challenges and issues that face commuters of all walks – and rides – of life, advocacy group MassBike hosted its fourth annual, “Boston-to-Somerville Rush Hour Challenge,” (previously known as the “Rush Hour Race”). bicycle5

Seven different commuters were challenged to see who could be fastest to get from the MassDOT headquarters in downtown Boston to Davis Square in Somerville. The challenge involved three bicyclists – one on an electric bike, one on a Hubway bike and one on a personal bicycle), an MBTA “The T” passenger, a runner, a walker and someone who drove their own vehicle.

The winner? The electric bicycle rider, who was first to cross the finish line in just 28 minutes. Meanwhile, the driver of the car came in sixth place – just ahead of the person walking the route. It took the car driver 40 minutes to reach the finish line.  Continue reading

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Should new bike lanes be added to Massachusetts Avenue? sharetheroad

The question has sparked a heated debate, as many fear that the precious few parking spaces that exist along the road will evaporate if we prioritize pedalcyclists.

But bike safety advocates say it’s simple: “Save Lives, Not Parking.”

Massachusetts Avenue has seen more fatal crashes than anywhere else in the city, and bicycle accidents are a top concern. The city has vowed to be create a more bike-friendly atmosphere, and that means making sure that bicyclists are safe to ride where it’s legal for them to do so. That’s the driving force behind the initiative to install protected bike lanes along Mass. Ave. That’s going to mean posts being installed between car lanes and cyclist lanes.  Continue reading

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Authorities in Canandaigua, NY are reporting that two bicyclists were seriously injured – one of them suffering a broken neck – when they were struck by a 49-year-old drunk driver plowed into them from behind while they were riding on the road’s shoulder. neck

It happened around 4:30 p.m. on a Sunday. The female bicyclist was diagnosed with a broken neck, and although she was expected to survive, she was only listed in fair condition and it’s believed her recovery time will be extensive, according to The Democrat & Chronicle.

The vehicle driver was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated vehicular assault, reckless driving, failure to keep right and aggravated driving while intoxicated. Because he had two prior felony convictions, he was being held without bail. The aggravated vehicular assault charge stemmed from the fact that his blood-alcohol concentration was 0.18 or higher.  Continue reading

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May is National Bike Month, and whether you bike to work or school or just for fun, you deserve to be safe. Bike lanes are one of the best roadway features we have to ensure that. bikerace

There has been some debate nationally about whether bicycle lanes are worth the time and effort. Fortunately, there is ample evidence to support the argument that bicycle lanes are cost-effective, promote cycling and help protect bicyclists from the many roadway hazards posed by motor vehicles. Here, our bike accident lawyers in Boston wanted to outline some of the bike lane research and what it could mean for Boston to have more bike lanes.

The City of Boston in its 30-year Boston Bike Network Plan has called for a comprehensive network of cycling routes – including on-road bicycle lanes – across 356 miles. The goal is to have 195 of those miles in place by 2018. The plan specifically states that when it comes to the primary routes – those that are the “spine” of the network and which provide long-distance routes across the city – leaders are prioritizing a separation from traffic in order to provide a low-stress, comfortable experience for cyclists of all ages. On secondary routes, which connect to schools, neighborhoods, parks, and transit hubs, the city is largely focused on installation of bike lanes, contra-flow lanes and priority shared lanes.  Continue reading

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The City of Boston has announced it will dedicate nearly $10 million over the course of three years – starting in fiscal year 2017 – to improving the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. bikeride

Whereas the Boston Vision Zero initiative had originally been allocated $500,000 annually in funding, city council recently upped it to six times that amount, citing the ongoing commitment to reduce auto accident injuries and fatalities to zero.

Boston bike accident attorney Andrew Fischer is actively involved in promoting Vision Zero as part of a task force working under the auspices of State Senator Will Brownsberger and including a coalition of bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups. Attorney Fischer, a former MASSBIKE president and longtime board member, met last month with Attorney General Maura Healey and a team from the Attorney General’s office to garner her support. The issue is one of public safety.

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Boston bicyclists band together. We are all part of the same family, and it’s imperative that we support one another, especially when it comes to cycling safety. bikelane

It is in this spirit that our Boston bike injury lawyers urge Massachusetts cyclists to contact their state representatives for urgent requests to co-sponsor certain budget amendments considered central to bicycle safety.

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What if it were possible to go back in time and see exactly what the outcome would have been if you had done things differently?bicyclists3

That’s what scientists with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology worked to accomplish in “rewinding” three bicycle accident scenarios in which the cyclists were not wearing helmets.

The videos offer reenactments of three different bicycle accident scenarios – showing the exact portions of the cyclists’ brains that suffer injury. Then, the researchers reenact those very same crashes to show how it would have gone differently had the rider been wearing a helmet at the time of impact. Continue reading

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Late last year, Massachusetts state Rep., Steven Howitt (R-Seekonk), introduced a bill that would ban bicyclists in the Commonwealth from wearing headphones while they ride. bike

He reasoned that, “If they want to share the road, they have to share the responsibility as well.”

Certainly, there is a case to be made that bicyclists need to be alert at all times when navigating through traffic. It’s really more for their own protection than anything else. But are efforts to crack down on distracted cycling really going to slash the number of bicycle accidents in Boston and elsewhere?

A recent analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts suggests probably not. That’s because the real problem isn’t biking while distracted. It’s driving while distracted.  Continue reading