The number of bicycle fatality cases in Boston and Massachusetts rose dramatically from 2010 to 2012, and recent years have been just as bad. Between 2010 and 2015, there were 13 bicycle fatalities between 2010 and 2015, according to The Boston Globe.
That makes Boston a deadlier city for cyclists than Denver, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle and Washington, D.C. A unique combination of narrow, winding streets, congestion, potholes and flat out belligerence from drivers and cyclists alike play a role in these tragedies.
With spring comes hot dogs at Sullivan’s, baseball at Fenway Park and a surge of cyclists mixing with city traffic. This is a good opportunity for everyone, cyclist and driver alike, to review the rules of the road and take steps to make sure everyone gets where they’re going safely.
Tips for Cyclists to Avoid Bike Accidents
- Always wear a helmet to protect your head, and ensure you stay visible to drivers, pedestrians and other bicyclists on the road.
- Obey all traffic laws and lights, and act like a car. Don’t weave in and out of traffic, and go with the flow of traffic.
- Use hand signals to let others know where you’re going, and ensure that you stay alert while maneuvering. Don’t assume that other drivers are paying attention, and don’t get distracted while biking.
- Common areas for bike accidents in Greater Boston include the Back Bay, Commonwealth Avenue by Boston University and Massachusetts Avenue. Look at this map of Boston bike accidents and use extra caution in these areas.
Tips for Drivers to Avoid Bike Accidents
- Use your turn signals and watch for bicyclists when turning right or left. Beware of bikes in your blind spot when turning right, and don’t try to beat bikes to the punch when turning left.
- Give cyclists three feet of clearance. This helps give them a margin of error and can help you avoid serious accidents.
- Look around before you exit your car. About 15 to 20 percent of crashes are caused by “dooring,” which occurs when a cyclist crashes into the opened door of a parked car.
- Treat bicyclists like other cars. Give them space to operate, do not tailgate them if they are slow to turn and do not attempt to quickly maneuver around them.
Bike accidents involving cars can be devastating, resulting in serious injury, including traumatic brain injury, or death. The actions of both the cyclist and the driver are considered when determining liability in Massachusetts, so it is important for drivers and cyclists to be on their safest behavior when they share the road.
Sheff Law has extensive experience in bike accidents and bicycle fatalities, and we provide a team of personal injury lawyers to manage every one of our clients’ needs. We offer free, no-obligation consultations. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-423-4477.
April 19th, 2017 | Posted in Blog