Growth in Number of Boston Cyclists Leads to an Increase in Bicycle Accidents

The reasons to ride a bike in Boston are endless. You can ride your bicycle for fun, to work, or for exercise. According to Radio Boston, “the greater Boston area is going through something of a bicycling renaissance.” With over 56 miles in new trails, it is no wonder that people have decided to commute the eco-friendly way. Regrettably, as the number of bicycle riders increase, so do the number of accidents and injuries involving bicycles. “Boston Emergency Medical Services count more than 450 bicycle-related accidents and collisions this year, up significantly since a year ago.”

Last month, there were two bike accidents in Boston that lead to the death of the cyclists. One cyclist was hit by a tractor trailer when she reached the intersection. The woman was known to be in her 30s and a resident of East Boston. The other cyclist was hit by a pick-up truck operated by a drunk driver. The victim was a 63-year old man from Dorchester, and died from his injuries. People who are the cause of bike accidents face an extensive amount of liability. The driver of the truck is facing motor vehicle homicide and drunk driving charges, among others.

Bike accidents are known to take the lives of over 700 people annually, with children making up a significant number of these victims. Boston Biker, an online community for cyclists in Boston, is encouraging riders to look at other countries to adopt their riding safety practices, as bike riding accidents in other countries are significantly lower. Even our own state adopted rules regarding bike safety. If you decide to ride, be sure to check out the city’s rules regarding bicycle safety.

Even with these fatal incidents, avid bicycle riders are not deterred from the road. We all strive to be healthy and physically fit people and bicycle riding seems like it could be the solution we have been looking for. If you are feeling left out because you don’t own a bicycle, then you should consider a membership with Hubway. Hubway is a bicycle sharing system in Metro-Boston that was created in July 2011.

Bicycle injuries can be daunting, especially if you find yourself head on with an oncoming vehicle. Bike accidents can cause head injuries such as concussions and bone fractures, among other serious injuries. So as you try to get in a few more rides before the weather makes it impossible, remember to wear a helmet and practice safe bicycling routines. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that bicycle helmets are 85 to 88 percent effective at preventing head injuries.

If you are riding and find yourself in an unfortunate accident, you may have suffered extensive injuries. Sadly, there are many financial as well as physical consequences. Your bike may be damaged, and you may wonder who will pay for it to be fixed. Medical bills will be costly and you will wonder if your insurance will cover all of the costs. You may need to bring a claim against the party that contributed to your injuries to recover for these expenses.

Source: Tackling Bike Safety In Boston, Radio Boston, October 4, 2012

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