Articles Posted in bicycle safety

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Comparative negligence in bicycle accidents involves a rider who is partially to blame for the cause of a collision. In Massachusetts, comparative negligence is not necessarily a bar to recovery, but it may limit the amount of damages one can collect. So even if you are cited in a bike crash that resulted in serious injury, do not assume you don’t have a case until you speak with an injury attorney.

According to a recent news article from the Newburyport Daily News, a man from Chelsea was airlifted to the hospital following a serious bicycle crash involving a car. Authorities have said the 41-year-old bike rider was riding along with a woman at around 10 p.m.

bike crashes BostonThe couple was riding their bicycles when the bike crash victim collided with a motor vehicle that was traveling in the same direction.  The driver of the vehicle immediately came to a complete stop and waited for first responders to arrive. Continue reading

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Hurst v. Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company

In Hurst v. Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company, a case from the Supreme Court of Wyoming, two plaintiffs were ridding separate bicycles around noon.  One plaintiff was riding about 30 feet in front of the other, and they were both on the shoulder of the road and the emergency lane when one was present.

Boston Bike Crash lawyerAt this point, a woman driving a minivan at around 50 miles per hour when she veered into the breakdown lane where plaintiffs were riding. She hit the rear bicycle rider from behind and the rider flipped up onto the roof of the minivan.  He was then thrown over the back of the minivan and ended up hitting the ground nearly 2oo feet away. Continue reading

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With so many more people riding bikes and bike advocacy groups doing better than ever, one might expect the per-capita share of bike accidents to bike riders to be on the downswing.  This would be true ideally even if the overall number of bike crashes was on the rise.  This would make sense with there being so many new bike riders on the streets of Boston, Cambridge, and the surrounding areas.

bike injury lawyerAccording to a recent news article from the Boston Globe, Boston is still very much a dangerous place for bike riders in terms of the frequency of bike crashes and a lot of the danger has to do with road conditions.  As the author who is an avid Boston bike rider and has been for more than 20 years noted, Boston has some of the most dangerous roads in the world and he is comparing to other countries that are from being called developed nations. Continue reading

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According to a recent news article from Wicked Local Cambridge, a new, two-direction bike lanes program on Brattle Street in Harvard Square is leading to some major disagreements between business owners and cyclists. The bike lanes are a new design that places two bike lanes closest to the curb and sidewalk along Brattle Street.

bike crash lawyerThis design is very different from existing bike lanes in other areas. The first thing that distinguishes it is that it is a protected bike lane.  This means that there is a painted divider between the lane intended for vehicle traffic and the bike lanes with plastic poles installed on the painted divider to serve as a physical barrier.  This is not an impenetrable barrier like a Jersey barrier as they are designed to brake away, but it would make cars much more likely to keep their distance than if the divider was not present. Continue reading

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There are a lot more people on bikes in Boston and the surrounding areas than there are in many other cities across the country, but Boston is not by any means the only city in which more people are taking bikes to work than they have in years past.  It is not only about commuting on bikes, either, as we see many more people riding for fun and exercise.

bicycle crash lawyerHowever, as we have more people on bikes, we are seeing more serious, and sometimes fatal, bike crashes involving a collision between a bike and motor vehicle.  While we are going to talk about a ways biking can be made safer, as well as things bike riders can do to avoid a collision, it is important to understand that, despite the fact that many motorists, and even police, like to assume the bike rider is at fault, the reality of most of these situations is quite different. Continue reading

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A recent news article from Health.com takes a good look at how to avoid the most common collisions between bicycles and cars.  A lot of the information deals with bike safety techniques for riders.  While it should be noted that many bike crashes are not the fault of the bike rider, and the at-fault drivers should be held responsible, it never hurts for bike riders to do whatever they can within reason to prevent a serious bike crash.

bikelane accident lawyer Boston This is important, as there has been a growing trend in people in urban areas such as Boston riding bikes. We have more people than ever riding bikes, and now we have bike share programs where anyone who registers for the service can grab a bike and ride it to their destination.   In Boston, we have Hub, which allows people to purchase an annual membership and then use the bikes whenever they choose. Continue reading

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Attorney Andrew Fischer of BikeAttorney.com has been awarded MassBike’s first-ever Paul Dudley White Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is bestowed for unyielding advocacy of bicycle safety and cyclists’ rights in Massachusetts.Bike Attorney Andrew Fischer

A renowned bicycle injury lawyer, Fischer is also a founding member, former president and long-time director of MassBike. He is also recognized as a pioneer of bicycle law in the Commonwealth. He personally penned legislation that protects cyclists from “dooring” and removed the legal loophole that gave negligent motorists a defense when they struck bicyclists passing on the right. Fischer has been a bicycle safety advocate in the Bay State since the 1970s. He is now the first annual recipient of this prestigious award.

“(He) put in a full 50 years and started when NOBODY believed an adult could, or should, ride a bicycle for transportation,” wrote MassBike Director Richard Fries. “During the day, he represented victims of bicycle crashes as one of the country’s first bicycle lawyers. And his case work helped define many laws. And if there were no laws, he helped write them! … (Bicyclists) are safer because Andy made sure cops and district attorneys and engineers recognized that a person on a bicycle belonged on the road with as many rights as anybody else.” Continue reading

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If you follow this blog at all, you’ve likely heard us reference the term, “Complete Streets.” It’s a concept that involves taking into account the equality of all road users – not just those who drive a motor vehicle. boston

Most streets in the country in existence today were constructed with a single road user in mind: Motorists. People moving on foot or by bike – and even public transportation – were largely left out of the equation. What this means is we have so many cities – and even still locations within our own progressive city, Boston – that simply aren’t safe for bicyclists and pedestrians. The Boston Complete Streets initiative aims to improve that a little bit at a time by retrofitting older streets with certain bike-friendly features, like bike lanes and sharrows, as well as reducing speed limits, narrowing roads and creating more sidewalks, crosswalks and comfortable bus stops.

But meanwhile, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) – sometimes referred to as “the Bible” of American street engineering, still don’t recommend these kinds of designs that promote bicycle safety. What this means is traffic engineers across the country are slow to follow designs we know have been proven to reduce bicycle crashes resulting in injuries and deaths. For example, protected bike lanes are known to lower the risk of a bicycle-versus-car accident because creating a barrier between bicycles and cars means there is less of a chance the two will collide. Yet even this very basic point is not included in the MUTCD.  Continue reading

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Our Boston bicycling safety advocates know that words can have a great deal of power. In order to be effective in our efforts to promote safety of those who travel by bicycle, whether for daily commute or in leisure, it’s imperative to properly frame the issues, the challenges and the people involved. bike trail

The power of smart language can be compelling, as evidenced by a recent blog post published as part of the Green Lane Project, a venture of the Seattle bicycle advocacy group PeopleForBikes.org. Writer Michael Andersen notes that rather than using the word, “cyclist,” it’s better to talk about “people on bikes.” Rather than use the word, “accident,” the word “collision” packs a more potent punch. And we can drive the point home better with a phrase like “protected bike lane” instead of “cycle track.” 

Why do these seemingly minor changes matter? Some might view these fixes as trivial, but its effect is evident when we look at the so-called “war on cars” that was reportedly raging in Seattle just a few years ago. That three-word phrase was dominating the conversation about improvements to bicycle infrastructure in the city. Instead of discussing whether it should be safer for people to walk, bike or ride public transit, they were instead debating whether they should give in to demands to “make driving worse.” What should have been a winning issue for everyone became a losing issue all-around. But that shifted when a small non-profit group stepped in to champion a city-wide network of local streets that were low traffic and safer for those on bikes. And instead of calling themselves “biking advocates,” they labeled themselves “neighborhood advocates.”  Continue reading

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Biking in Boston is a way of life for many people, but as many of us know, it can also be quite treacherous. This is especially true anytime there is construction. construction

Recently, a special alert was issued by Boston Bikes to use extra care on Massachusetts Avenue from Boylston Street to Westland Avenue, as the city works to improve the roadway. Of course, the ultimate goal is to make the road surface safer for all users – including bicyclists and pedestrians. However, the city made it clear that over the course of the next several weeks, the area will be, “more uncomfortable for anyone who is biking or driving in the construction zone.”

The plans involve milling the pavement (removing the surface to smooth out irregularities and create a uniform depth) and then installing a temporary surface that will be re-striped with limited and temporary markings. These temporary markings are only going to include a double yellow center line and dashed white lines that will make the travel lanes clear. The city urged cyclists to consider taking this alternate route, which has riders taking St. Botolph Street to West Newton Street across Huntingon Avenue, where the road turns to Belvidere Street and then turning onto Dalton Street at the Belvidere/Dalton Plaza. Continue reading