Articles Tagged with Boston bicycle accident attorney

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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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Bike riding is becoming increasingly popular nationwide, with a growing number of cities launching bike-friendly initiatives, including bike share programs, Complete Streets road design and safe cycling education campaigns. bicyclelane

Minneapolis-St. Paul, also referred to as the “Twin Cities,” has joined the bandwagon too, installing bicycle lanes throughout the city, which has a number of bicycle clubs, meet-ups and annual sponsored rides.

However, a lawmaker has recently caught heat after introducing a bill in the state legislature that would make bicycling more expensive. House File 499, introduced by Republican Duane Quam, would require cyclists who want to use public bicycle lanes to purchase a permit, pay a $5 fee and complete a bicycle safety education course. Additionally, all bikes being used on public streets would need to be registered with the state public safety commissioner. Additionally, riders using bicycle lanes would need to be at least 15-years-old, making no provision for where school children commuting to class are supposed to ride. Continue reading

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Boston University’s independent student newspaper, the Daily Free Press, reports that the Boston Transportation Department is now accepting applications for itroundabouts upcoming 2017 Neighborhood Slow Streets Program. The intention is to implement traffic calming measures that will help bolster road safety in residential areas, which could be especially beneficial for people on bikes.

A spokeswoman for the transportation department explained that the program uses a number of different approaches to help reduce the overall speed of traffic, which in turn curbs the danger.

For example, physical cues may include speed humps, traffic circles or narrower lanes, while visual cues might use include posted signs or strategic landscaping.  Continue reading

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Advocates for Boston bicycle safety are applauding the new statewide measure that bans drivers from “standing” or parking in established bike lanes. As our Boston bicycle injury lawyers know, this practice puts cyclists in grave risk because it forces them into moving traffic in order to avoid the stationary vehicle in their path. bikelane

The measure was initially part of a larger bill that had numerous other bicycle safety components. Unfortunately, this larger bill didn’t pass, but bike advocates know this is a start. Safe biking can’t be achieved simply by creating bike lanes. Those lanes have to be policed and the laws enforced so that it’s safe for cyclists to use them.

Boston Attorney Andrew Fischer Bikeattorney.com was part of that team of advocates who helped to draft the bike land protection law, as well as other proposed legislation.  Continue reading

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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. bikememorial

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, a gifted and 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

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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

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Nearly one quarter of all Boston bicycle accidents that result in injury are caused by vehicle drivers or passengers opening their doors into the path of an oncoming cyclist. It’s called “dooring,” and in addition to accounting for a significant number of the total number of bicyclist injuries in Boston, it’s blamed for 40 percent of all cases where a driver is at-fault for injury to a bike rider. It’s also illegal, per Mass. Gen. Law Ch. 90, Section 14. This statute makes it clear that it is the vehicle occupant’s job to wait to open the door until it’s safe to do so without interfering with other moving traffic – which includes both cyclists and pedestrians. bicycle9

And yet, these incidents continue to happen, as as bicycle safety advocates note, it has largely to do with the fact that bicycle traffic is still something of an afterthought – if it’s a thought at all – to many American drivers. In the Netherlands, as noted in one New York Times article, it’s far different. Cycling is ingrained into the culture. Everyone cycles. While many cities in the U.S. – including Boston – have dedicated bike lanes for safer bicycle travel, in the Netherlands, bicycles are truly seen as equal vehicles, with not just dedicated lanes, but dedicated traffic lights, parking garages and depots.

This bike-friendly culture is the reason Dutch drivers are taught in driving school that when you are about to exit a vehicle, you reach for the door handle with your right hand. Why? It forces the driver to reach around his or her own body, causing the shoulders and head to turn – which makes it much easier to see if a bicyclist is approaching from behind. Now, as The Boston Globe recently reported, a 70-year-old retired medical doctor and Cambridge cycling advocate is pushing for Bostonian drivers to do the “Dutch Reach.”  Continue reading

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The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not require bicyclists over the age of 16 to don a helmet when they take to the streets. Furthermore, the law is very clear that lack of a helmet on an injured rider is not grounds to find contributory negligence (see M.G.L. ch. 85, section 11B). bicycling1

That said, it’s generally a very good idea for all bicyclists to wear a helmet. We know that more head injuries occur in biking than in any other sport. A bike helmet may not prevent a bicycle accident, but it can help to significantly reduce injuries and protect riders against concussions and traumatic brain injury. There were reportedly 287,0000 bike-related head injuries in the U.S. between 2007 to 2011. By comparison, there were 220,000 head injuries attributed to football and 132,000 to basketball.

Recently, Consumer Reports touched on this in two different articles. The first involved finding the best bicycle helmet and the second involved analyzing the anatomy of a bicycle accident and how helmets can help play a role in reducing injuries.  Continue reading

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Bicycle accidents in Boston that involve children tend to be perceived as “part of growing up.” They aren’t viewed as seriously or as a major problem. bicycling

Unfortunately, many child bicycle accidents result in injuries that far exceed scrapes-and-bruises. In some cases, children may suffer fractured bones, severe scarring, internal organ damage and possibly even traumatic brain injury.

Child-related bicycle accidents tend to be far more severe in the summertime. That’s when more children are out-and-about and parents actually encourage their kids to take on bike riding. Nine out of every 10 bicycle accidents involving children happen during daylight hours and most occur during the spring and summer months.  Continue reading

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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