A fatal bicycle crash in Fenway killed a much-loved children’s librarian from Cambridge, sparking renewed calls to action for city leaders to take the lead on better cycling safety throughout Boston.
As our Boston bike attorneys understand it, 69-year-old Paula Sharaga was struck by a cement truck driver near the same area where a 24-year-old Boston University student bicyclist was killed in November by a dump truck.
Tragedy in Fenway: Bicyclist Dies in Crash With Truck
According to a recent news article from 25 News Boston, police in Newton are investigating an incident in which a bike rider suffered a blowout caused by dozens of thumbtacks that appear to have been maliciously placed in a bike lane. Authorities are saying this was not the first time this had occurred as there have been a series of similar incidents in recent months.
A spokesperson for the Newton Police Department has said they are not sure whether someone is on foot when placing the tacks or they are dropping them out of a car window. Police are relying on potential witnesses and other members from the community to provide them with any information that could help identify the person or persons responsible for this concerning series of attacks on bike riders in the Greater Boston area. Continue reading
Bicycle helmets lower the risk of head injuries to cyclists – in some cases quite substantially. Yet consumers have long been short on information to help them choose the best protection. In fact, a new analysis, the result of a joint project with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, revealed standard bicycle helmet testing by the Consumer Product Safety Commission falls far short in identifying key potential helmet defects. Meanwhile, bike riders have been led to believe they’re all virtually the same, and they’re not.
One of the biggest discoveries of the new study is the surprising revelation that the so-called “urban-style” helmets assumed to provide more protection because they cover more of the head are actually riskier than so-called “road helmets” when it comes to head injuries. Researchers urged manufacturers of these urban-style helmets to initiate design improvements to bolster rider safety.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports approximately 81,000 people were treated for bicycle-related head injuries in a single recent year. That’s more than for any other sport. It’s also likely a low estimate because it omits those who may have sought treatment at a private doctor’s office. There were also 840 cyclists killed in 2016 crashes involving motor vehicles – the most we’ve counted since 1991.
Stunning footage of a cyclist in Queensland, Australia being wiped out by a full-grown kangaroo mid-leap had many riders feeling a bit jumpy, especially given that this was supposed to be a quiet ride along a quaint country road. The Courier Mail, which posted the video, reports the unsuspecting cyclist was laid out when the kangaroo seemingly went on the offensive, leaping from the bush, knocking the cyclist onto her side before hopping away unscathed into nearby tall brush. The entire thing was captured on camera by a fellow rider.
News outlets reported the cyclist was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital and released with stitches on her knee and sling for her right arm.
Barring any mass marsupial breakouts from the Franklin Park Zoo, a kangaroo “attack” on any Boston cyclist is highly unlikely. However, other animals – primarily, dogs – have proven problematic for regular riders. In these situations, our Boston bike injury attorneys know to help you recover damages.
It seems almost every bicyclist has at least one story of a close call involving a canine. Many cyclists can outrun even a fast dog, but too often, riders are often caught unaware when the dog ambushes from the side or gives chase uphill. These incidents most frequently occur on suburban or rural roads – including those crossing through Lincoln, Concord, Sudbury or Dover, Sherborn, Medfield or Essex, Ipswitch and Hamilton. Conflicts or other incidents with dogs are also more likely to occur on “bike paths,” which are technically multiple user recreational paths. People ride on these paths because they feel safer, but they are also used by joggers, people with pets and small children. A pet owner with a dog leash stretching across the width of the path is akin to a dangerous tripwire for a cyclist. Dog-related incidents are much more likely to happen in this setting than on a bustling Boston street.
It’s important for riders to watch for dogs and ride cautiously to outrun them if one gives chase. Most bicyclist injury claims that are dog-related aren’t the result of an attack or a bite. Injury is typically the result of a chasing dog getting caught in the bicycle spokes or wheels, causing the bike to crash. If a cyclist is injured after a dog gives chase or collides with a bike, it is often negligence by the dog’s owner – more precisely, the failure to exercise control over that dog – that is to blame. Through our years of experience as bike attorneys, we know what type insurance coverage may be available and how to secure you damages caused by an unleashed dog.
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.
The 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
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, held on the third Sunday of November each year, had special significance for us at BikeAttorneys.com this year.
That’s because last year, in October 2015, a former client and talented musician, David Tasgal, was killed when he was struck by a pickup truck while bicycling near his home in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Tasgal, agiftedand accomplished musician on numerous instruments and a beloved teacher of music, was killed in the bicycle accident at the age of 72.
On November 20th, human-shaped silhouettes were installed throughout Boston and carried along the memorial ride, representing the lives of those lost too soon to traffic crashes. Each of these deaths – including Tasgal’s – was 100 percent preventable. In each case, it is the negligence and general carelessness by motorists that results in needless, tragedies like this one. Continue reading
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.
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
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?
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
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.
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?