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Cyclists Push For Bike Safety Laws and Infrastructure Nationwide

Many bike accidents in which a bicyclist is seriously injured or killed occur in areas in which there is not adequate bike safety infrastructure and drivers have not been given sufficient education on the topic of bike safety as more and more bike commuters are on the roads of Boston and other major cities across the nation than ever before.

bicycle accident lawyerThis is not to say the driver who causes an accident is not at-fault, and thus the proper defendant in a Boston bike crash lawsuit, but having better bike safety infrastructure should still be pursued since anything that reduces the number of bike riders injured each year should certainly be pursued. According to a recent news article from NBC News Ten Philadelphia, a woman riding a bike was run over by a large truck.  She is one of two bicyclists involved in bike accidents that occurred in bike lanes in Center City in a brief period of time and her accident is gaining a strong response from other bicyclists in the community. They are there to raise awareness to this serious and dangerous problem.

In this case, victim was headed to see her doctor and was traveling in the bike lane.  She was headed in a northbound direction when a truck made a right turn and collided with her.  As our Boston bike crash injury lawyers can explain, when a truck makes a right turn and hits a bicyclist, typically one that the truck driver did not know was there, it is common for the bike rider to go under the truck after being hit and getting crushed under the rear dual tires. In these cases, the result is often severe personal injury or death, and in this cases, the victim was trapped under the truck’s rear wheels.

She will survive this horrific accident, fortunately, but she is believed to have suffered serious personal injury including a crushed pelvis, a hemotoma on both of her lungs, broken ribs, and her foot was also broken.  This would lead to tremendous pain and suffering, time missed from work, extensive medical bills, and a long road of expensive physical or occupational therapy.  There have been no arrests made in connection with this serous bike crash.

In response, bike riders in the city along with full or part-time bike safety advocates went to the scene of this crash and formed a human bike lane.  This practice is becoming more common following bike accidents that could have been easily avoided with proper safety infrastructure and greater awareness by truck drivers to expect a bike rider in the bike lane, even if that rider is in a typical blind spots.

A human bike lane can be deployed in an area where there is no bike lane at all, as in not even painted on the road, following an accident, and it can also be used on a street that has a bike lane, but does not have any physical barrier separating the bike lane from the lane in which cars travel. This is done for various reasons. The first reason has to due with paying respect to the victim.  In the case of a serious, but not fatal Boston bike accident, a human bike lane is used to show solidarity with the victim and also to show that there are bike safety advocates fighting for change. In the case of a fatal bike accident, they are there in memorial of the bike rider who was killed in the Boston area bike crash.

Human bike lanes, however, go beyond a message of memorial or solidarity with respect to a victim, they are also trying to make motorists and city officials aware of the need to take bike safety seriously as not doing so leads to pain, suffering, and death. The city can work to make more bike lanes, and to put physical barriers where none exist.  Motorists can learn to look out for bike riders in bike lanes, especially when making a right turn.

Truck Right Turn Bike Crashes in Boston

When a truck makes a right turn, it is the driver’s responsibility to look for bike riders in the right hand bike lane.  Even where there is a blind spot for the truck driver, this is not an excuse. Not only do all trucks have large mirrors to eliminate much of the blind spot, a driver must always be paying attention to the bike lane when approaching the intersection.  In most cases, the bike rider is ahead of the truck driver and is passed at some point prior to reaching the intersection. If a driver fails to see a bike rider and makes a right turn causing severe personal injury, the driver can be held liable in a Boston bike crash lawsuit.

Another thing that can be done to improve bike safety is mandate the use side guards on trucks.  This has to be done on the federal level since it is very hard for states to make laws that hamper the flow of interstate commerce. If a truck is registered in a state that does not have a requirement for side guards, they would be prohibited from entering a state that does have such requirements and this has been deem unconstitutional such as in the landmark case involving the use of rounded mudflaps instead of square ones that are industry standard. A state can have different traffic laws, as could a city, but these laws would not prevent the truck itself from entering the state or city.  To make matters even more complicated, many trailers are not registered to the same state, or even the same owner, as the tractor trailer. In many cases, a driver will pick up the trailer in one location and return it to that location when the job is done, or even leave it at the delivery address and pick up another trailer for the trip home.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Boston bicycle accident (we prefer the term “crash”), call for a free and confidential appointment at 617-777-7777.

Additional Resources:

After Another Woman Is Run Over, Cyclists Stand Up Once Again for Bike Lane Safety in Center City Philadelphia, December 19, 2017, By Dan Stamm, NBC News 10 Philadelphia

More Blog Entries:

World Day of Remembrance Personal for Our Boston Bicycle Injury Lawyers, Nov. 17, 2017, Boston Bike Attorney Blog

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