The Greater Boston metro area, including Brookline, Cambridge, and Quincy, is constantly buzzing with cars, trucks, trains, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The roads are congested and frenzied, creating dangerous situations for all commuters, regardless of their mode of transportation. With the addition of the Hubway bike sharing program and new "bicycle lanes" on Boston streets, more cars and bicycles will be forced to share the roads than ever. Sadly, nationwide, over 600 bicyclists per year lose their lives after being struck by another vehicle on the road. Many more sustain serious injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and others that lead to high medical costs, lost wages, and a great deal of pain and suffering. According to the Boston Police Department, there were 340 bicycle-related accidents in 2010, including 6 fatal accidents, in Boston alone.
If you have been injured in a car vs. bike accident, call the Boston lawyers at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. for a free consultation at 617-225-2100. We have offices in Boston, Cambridge, and Quincy and help victims and their families in courts throughout Massachusetts. We have vast experience and a long history of success assisting those involved in bicycle accidents pay their medical bills, regain lost employment wages, obtain compensation for pain and suffering, and recover from other damages.Bicycles Are Vehicles, With The Same Rights And Responsibilities As Cars
Pursuant to Massachusetts state law, bicycles are considered vehicles and have the same rights and responsibilities are cars. The same rules of the road apply to both bikes and cars, including following all traffic lights and road signs. Many times, drivers consider bicyclists on the road a mere "annoyance," but they should be given the same respect as other motorists. Any negligence of a driver can, and often does, result in car-bicycle accidents, which can be devastating for cyclists and their families. Drivers should be particularly careful around children on bikes, who often do not fully understand the risks of reckless driving and the importance of road safety.Common Acts Of Driver's Negligence Causing Bike Accidents
Again, while any negligent act of a driver, such as speeding, switching lanes without warning, ignoring traffic signs and signals, etc. can result in a car vs. bicycle accident, there are some common actions seen on Boston and Massachusetts roads, including:
- Dangerous turns: Drivers who encounter bicyclists at intersections will often cut off the bike, creating a high risk of a car-bike collision and severe injuries to the bicyclist. A bicyclist should be given the ability to safely turn and cars should respect their right-of-way.
- Dangerous passing: Often, motorists leave too little space while attempting to pass a bike, driving the bicyclist off the road or striking the bike. Plenty of space should be left when attempting to pass a bicyclist and should be completed only when it is clearly safe to do so, at a safe speed.
- Ignoring bike lanes: This is especially true with the addition of new bicycle lanes on busy Boston roads. Drivers must respect the right-of-way the bike lane creates and be especially cautious when traveling near these paths, continually watching for the presence of a bike.
- Carelessly opening car doors: This is most often seen with parked cars, when a motorist carelessly and negligently opens his door into the path of a bicyclist, striking them and potentially propelling them off the bike.
- Not appreciating a bicycles speed or braking: Many times, drivers behind the wheel of a motor vehicle do not appreciate the different physical dynamics of a bicycle. Bikes are not often capable of braking suddenly, which often throws the rider off the bike. Further, motorists often do not accurately gauge the speed of a bike, often making turns or passing without realizing the bike is closer to the vehicle than thought.
The Boston car accident attorneys at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. have decades of success handling bike accident claims. We have extensive dealings with insurance companies and know their tactics well. If you have been injured in a bike-car accident, it is imperative to call us at 617-225-2100 before speaking with an insurance agent. The clock is ticking on the statute of limitations. We can also be contacted using our online form.