Articles Posted in Boston bicycle accident

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Our Boston bicycle injury lawyers have spent years advocating for safer communities for bicyclists that includes traffic infrastructure incorporating protected bicycle lanes. Just as sidewalks establish a safe mode of travel for pedestrians, protected bicycle lanes – those separated from motor vehicle traffic – are the ideal for safe cycling, especially in highly-congested urban areas. Boston bicycle accident attorney

Although Boston officials have outlined a solid vision for how to proceed, the process is moving excruciatingly slow for those of us who cycle daily.

In the meantime, our suburban neighbor, Cambridge, is leading the charge. As reported by the StreetsBlog, Cambridge became the very first city in the U.S. to make protected bicycle lanes mandatory. The only other city with a similar policy is Portland, OR, and that community requires bicycles lanes only on major streets. Continue reading

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Bicycling is one of the most efficient – and cheapest – ways to get around urban cities like Boston and surrounding communities. As noted by the Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research, the majority of bicyclists aren’t young, wealthy hipsters making their way on two wheels by choice (though there’s nothing wrong with that either). Many include the working poor who bike out of necessity. Unfortunately, Boston bicycle attorneys know these are among the residents for whom bicycling infrastructure – and thus safety – is least accessible. Bicycle injuries for these groups tend to be more common.Boston bicycle injury lawyer

These are sometimes referred to as “invisible cyclists.” Working class. Typically a minority. Often a recent immigrant. Commuting to work. Uninterested in the color or sleekness of bicycle style, as long as it works. For these individuals, bicycling isn’t an environmental cause or an interesting thing to do with friends. It is a means of transportation, cheaper than a car, faster than walking and more reliable than public transit.

Other difference in these two types of bicycle riders:

  1. Can afford living in the priciest part of the city (i.e., owning a car isn’t necessary); lives in an expensive part of the city, close enough to work so owning a vehicle isn’t a necessity; lives near a bike-share station built as a residential amenity because local wealthy residents sustain it financially; Riding is generally easier because bicycle infrastructure is in place.
  2. Lives in a more remote part of town; would prefer to own a vehicle due to long transit times to-and-from work; Living area lacks adequate bike-share, docking stations and other bicycle infrastructure.

Some cities, including Boston, are attempting to make it more equitable. Continue reading

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As far as busy biking corridors in Massachsuetts go, Inman Square in Cambridge may easily score No. 1 for the most bustling. It’s also a dangerous mess, resulting in numerous car accidents and bicycle crashes – most causing serious injury and a few resulting in tragic deaths.Boston bicycle accident attorney

Although city officials have made some improvements in recent years, Boston bike injury attorneys know Inman Square (where Cambridge Street and Hampshire Street intersect at an oblique angle at which three other streets also intersect) continues to be one of the most chaotic thoroughfares to navigate.

In general, diagonal intersections are known to be more dangerous. One study published by researchers at Harvard three years ago concluded they are 37 percent more crash-prone. Some are advocating for a redesign that incorporates a newer traffic safety solution known as a “peanutabout.”  Continue reading

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Electric scooters will be rolling into Boston this spring as part of a pilot program approved by city council, now meeting with three separate companies: Lime, Bird and Lyft. Unlike Blue Bikes, e-scooter services wouldn’t be limited to a single company. Their presence – just like that of any other alternative transport mode that’s smaller, slower and non-reliant on fossil fuels – will make city streets cleaner, less congested, safer and more accessible to a broader range of travelers. Long-term, it also drives down costs for road and bridge repairs (more frequent with heavier traffic) as well as emergency response resources for serious injury crashes (you’d much rather your bike get hit by an e-scooter than a dump truck).escooter

Boston bike attorneys know that much of the vexation around e-scooters is two-fold: Bold guerrilla marketing and confusion about they are supposed to fit into the traffic matrix. Bird’s dockless e-scooters showed up unannounced on Cambridge and Somerville sidewalks overnight last summer, taking motorists, cyclists and pedestrians by surprise (never a good thing in traffic) and sparking ire among city leaders who weren’t given the chance to weigh in first. Technically the service wasn’t operational in Boston, but a few made their way across those borders (to the chagrin of the mayor, who warned the company if they were found lying unattended they’d be hauled to a tow yard). Bird, a California company, used the same strategy in other cities with mixed success. It only lasted about two months in the Boston suburbs before caving to pressure and packing up.

Now, instead of the mayor basically shouting e-scooter companies off his city lawn, they’ve been welcomed with a seat at the table for a chance – with the city’s blessing – to try again. (Cambridge may soon do the same, which is good news because better connectivity boosts use rates with dockless systems.) Continue reading

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Sometimes even the most committed bicyclist commuters consider the sight of snow a good enough excuse to find an alternative means to travel. But there are many reasons cyclists find to keep pedaling. Some have noted that keeping up on their daily treks despite the cold overall keeps their immune system virile, their bodies overall healthier. It also remains for many the fastest way to their destination. Whereas a bus or the T might take 45 minutes to travel, a cyclist can often make it in half the time. As Boston bicycle attorneys know, in cities like this where cycling is increasingly common, you’ll notice those bike lanes stay busy, with riders layering up their clothing and some fattening up (their bike tires that is).  Staying safe though can be another matter.Boston bike attorney

An estimated 40,000 bicycle trips were made in Boston every day, according to official counts in 2017. Cycling slips off a bit in the winter, but the reality is biking infrastructure isn’t appreciably worse in the winter versus the summer. The only thing especially perilous about riding in the colder months is the same thing that is dangerous about cycling in Boston every other day: How other road users behave toward you. Primarily, that means careless or inattentive drivers, though pedestrians and other cyclists sometimes pose a risk also.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s wise to head out into a blizzard or ice storm or when the snow becomes virtually impassible. Not only are you more likely to get stuck, motorists are going to have a tougher time seeing you than they do normally. Even if you’re wearing all kinds of reflecting and contrasting gear, drivers may have difficulty slowing or stopping in time to prevent Boston bicycle accident by the time they do see you.

In general, winter weather bike riding in Boston requires bicyclists to be cautious and alert, dress appropriately and to maximize visibility, ride slowly and be especially careful on roadways and at intersections already known for their danger. Continue reading

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In an ideal world, there would not be any serious or fatal Boston bike crashes. While we clearly do not live in a perfect world, and many bike crashes will occur in the greater Boston area each year,  there is no excuse for the driver not remaining on the scene of the accident, regardless of whether the driver believes he was at fault. The actual term is leaving the scene of a traffic accident involving personal injury, but people most often refer to these as Boston hit-and-run crashes.

bicycle attorneyAccording to a recent news article from CBS Boston Local, a 20-year-old woman was riding her bike through a traffic circle when she was involved in a collision with a vehicle that was also in the traffic circle. At this point, the driver in the car that collided with her left the scene of the Boston area bike crash without stopping, or even slowing down to see if she was badly injured. Continue reading

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Dooring is a very common way in which bicycle riders are injured in the Greater Boston area.  The really sad thing is every dooring accident is entirely preventable. Even the slightest amount of thought and awareness from motorists would prevent the majority of dooring accidents in our area.

Boston Dooring Accidents As the name implies, dooring involves opening a car door into the path of an oncoming bicyclist.  These accidents most often involve the driver’s door since it opens to the left, but it can also involve a rear passenger who is seated on the driver’s side of the vehicle. In some cases, we have seen passengers in taxi cabs or rides sharing vehicles open their doors into the path of an oncoming bicyclist, causing serious personal injury. Continue reading

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There is no question more people are biking and bike commuting than ever before in the Greater Boston area including Cambridge just across the Charles River.  To get an idea of just how the trend is moving, we can look to data published by the City of Cambridge, which shows 4 percent of residents commuted by bike in 1990.  Today the number has risen to high as 9 percent and this is only expected to continue.

bike crash lawyerTo meet the needs and protect the safety of the the growing cyclist community, there have been a lot of changes including the addition of bike lanes, some with physical barriers, and there have been renewed efforts to educate motorists on the laws pertaining to bike safety.  Unfortunately, there still needs to be a lot of work in both of these area as bike riders are hit by cars on a regular basis, and many drivers do not understand bike riders have the same rights as a vehicle driver while on the streets and roads of Massachusetts. Continue reading

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Watching the agonizing frame-by-frame the moments before, during and after the 2015 deadly bicycle crash that killed Dr. Anita Kurmann as she cycled along Massachusetts Avenue is gut-wrenching. What’s especially horrendous, though, is that the driver of the tractor-trailer that brazenly mowed her down has not been criminally charged, despite obvious violation of the law. Boston police instead shockingly concluded Kurmann herself was to blame for failure to recognize the truck was preparing to turn.bicycle attorney

Any good bike injury lawyer knows this conclusion is wrong. It ignores the fact that the truck driver had a legal obligation to stay alert to his surroundings – including the presence of vulnerable road users – and turn safely.

Lead bike attorney Andrew Fischer of BikeAttorney.com was part of a team of dedicated advocates that recently drafted an in-depth analysis of the Kurmann case, submitted to the district attorney’s office with an urgent request for further review. This report scrutinized point-by-point, second-by-second how this crash unfolded, establishing the trucker’s overt failure to adhere to MGL Chapter 90 Section 14, which barred him overtaking a bicyclist to make a right turn, “unless the turn can be made at a safe distance from the bicyclist at a speed that is reasonable and proper.”

The driver’s conduct went beyond simply a breach of duty to use reasonable care (the standard for negligence). It was criminal. As the analysis clearly showed, the trucker’s violation of the law regarding right turns when bicyclists are on the right lays ample foundation for a charge of negligent homicide. The evidence further supports a probable cause finding for charges of involuntary manslaughter, pursuant to MGL c. 265 s. 13, operating to endanger, and reckless driving – all based on his glaring violation of MGL Chapter 90 Section 14. Continue reading

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Electric assist bikes have become increasingly popular, as many riders use them for the intended purpose of helping novice riders and commuters push their way up hills or gain some speed on their way to work. Some even see them as a democratizing force on city streets. And of course, the more people on bikes in the city, the more visibility we gain and the safer all cyclists are.bike injury lawyer

However, there has been some recent controversy in Boston over the fact that some people are essentially using them as motorcycles in bicycle lanes or even on paths strictly designated for bicyclists and pedestrians.

“Electric assist bikes are still bikes, but they are capable of traveling 20-miles-per-hour,” said Boston bike attorney Andrew Fischer. “When they are in bike lanes, they become a big hazard because they are proceeding as a motorized vehicle in a lane where motorized vehicles are not allowed.” Continue reading

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