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Keeping an Eye on Bicycle Safety

Bicyclists are at the mercy of the drivers around them. They don’t have the benefit of airbags, seatbelts or any protective steel cages. Even when cyclists wear helmets, they can still sustain severe and fatal injuries. Bicycle accidents often leave surviving victims in the hospital and out of commission. Motorists need to be on the lookout for bicyclists and share the road safely.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 800 bicyclists were killed in 2010 and an estimated 515,000 emergency room visits were due to bicycle crashes. They also report that most bicyclist deaths happen in urban locations and at non-intersection areas.
Who is Most at Risk?
• Young adults ages 15 to 24 years old • Adults ages 45 years and older • Males • Children ages 5 to 14 years old and young adults from ages 15 to 24 years old account for nearly 60 percent of all bicycle-related injuries.

Staying Safe

Bicycle helmets do reduce the risk of head and brain injuries during crashes. Helmets should always be size and age appropriate and properly fitted. Savvy cyclists also wear high-visibility clothing and ride conspicuously. Ultimately, motor vehicle drivers have to share the road with cyclists. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact an experienced Boston personal injury attorney for skilled representation.

Boston Bike Statistics

• Ridership has increased 122 percent from 2007 to 2009.
• Massachusetts Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue are the two roads with the most bicycle crashes.
• 37 percent of bicycle crashes involve automobiles.
• Five percent of bike wrecks involve pedestrians.
• Cyclists perceive riding on off-road paths as much safer than riding on the streets in Boston.

Bicycle Accidents in the News

The Boston Globe recently reported on a few fatal bicycle wrecks that happened across the country. A 19-year-old driver fatally struck two bicycle riders in Hampton, New Hampshire. She has since been charged with negligent homicide and second-degree assault. Additionally, a 21-year-old bicyclist from Massachusetts was killed when an SUV struck her from behind while riding in Ohio.
What Can Drivers do?
The City of Boston has so many great tips for keeping cyclists safe. They encourage motor vehicle drivers to give cyclists the appropriate right of way. It’s important to yield to bicycles. Additionally, they also encourage drivers to be considerate. Always check for bicycles before blasting horns and opening doors. Drivers should also pass with care. Extreme caution should be used when passing bicycle riders. It’s critical to leave at least four feet between you and the bicycle. Check mirrors, and always wait until road and traffic conditions are safe enough for passing. Finally, watch out for children on bicycles, because they may be unpredictable and unfamiliar with traffic laws.

Have You Been Injured in a Bicycle Crash?

Victims of bicycle accidents are often facing extensive medical bills, lost wages and serious property damage to their bikes. They may have ongoing physical therapy for injuries and a difficult time getting back to their regular lives. An experienced bicycle accident attorney should be contacted after a crash. It’s important to get the ball rolling on bicycle crash cases. Contact the experienced bicycle accident attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP at 800-481-6199 for a free consultation. We represent victims all across Massachusetts.