Articles Posted in Bike Accidents

Bicycle safety continues to draw the attention of city officials as the number of cyclists grows across the city. With increasing attention to the environmental and health advantages of opting for bicycles instead of motor vehicles and public transportation, and the advent of bike share programs like Hubway, the volume of bicyclists has increased dramatically. With this movement towards cycling, bicycle laws may need to be reconsidered to ensure that cycling remains an attractive option for Bostonians, while ensuring the safety of cyclists, pedestrians, and motor vehicle drivers.

Boston.com reported that on September 17th, the Brookline Police Department solicited comments via Twitter regarding the adoption of a new bicycle law commonly known as the Idaho Stop. The law would allow cyclists to treat red lights as stop signs, and treat stop signs as yield signs, thereby letting cyclists move more quickly and have more freedom on roadways. In Idaho, bicycle injuries declined by 14.5% in the year following the implementation of the law.

Existing bike laws in Brookline follow a “same roads, same rules” approach, which requires cyclists to adhere to the same road rules as drivers of motor vehicles. Steve Sidman, Executive Director of the Boston Cyclists Union criticized this approach, noting that the rules applicable to motor vehicles cannot logically be applied wholesale to bicycles. Stidman also recommended the construction of a separate bicycle path on Commonwealth Avenue to reduce bicycle accidents.

Brookline Police Lieutenant Philip Harrington noted that there are no definite plans to adopt the new rule and the department is merely opening the topic for discussion at this point.
Continue reading

A new ordinance, The Act to Protect Vulnerable Road Users, could make the roads safer for local cyclists, especially during a Boston bicycle accident. If approved, all trucks over 10,000 pounds that are owned or contracted by the city would be obligated to install new safety features on their vehicles.

Among the added features are protective side guards, which should prevent a cyclist from getting pulled under a truck’s wheels during a Boston truck accident. Trucks would also have to install convex mirrors, which would make it easier for truckers to see more of the road. Meantime, reflective, bright stickers notifying of a truck’s blind spots would let pedestrians and bicyclists know that the driver might not be able to see them.

According to the Boston’s Cyclist Safety Report, between the Summer and Fall of ’12 alone, five Boston area bicyclists were killed. One reason for this is that there has been an increase in the number of bicyclists, which is even more of a reason to make sure that cyclists are getting the protections they need in the event of any kind of Massachusetts traffic crash. The rise in bicycle riders has definitely been enhanced by the New Balance Hubway, which is a bicycle sharing system that gives members access to bicycles located at more than 100 stations throughout the Greater Boston area. Councilor-at-Large Ayanna Pressley, who is one of the lawmakers spearheading the act, called the problem of inadequate bicyclist safety a “public health issue,” said The Globe.

After a long deliberation, a grand jury has found the driver who killed a bicyclist in a hit-and-run accident in Charlestown in April not guilty.

Ricky Prezioso, 41, was initially charged with the death of bicyclist Owen McGrory, 30, when he struck and killed him while driving a garbage truck in Sullivan Square on April 3. According to police reports, Prezioso was charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death. Prezioso claimed he “thought he hit a pothole;” which police initially believed to be a likely scenario as bicyclists can be hit by vehicles so big that the drivers never see or feel the impact.

The grand jury heard testimony from seven witnesses and was presented with 19 exhibits, a spokesman for the Suffolk County district attorney told reporters at WCVB.

“In light of the grand jury’s decision, prosecutors are essentially left without a criminal case,” spokesman Jake Wark said.

The investigative file assembled by prosecutors has been given to McGrory’s family, should they wish to file a civil suit.
Continue reading

The death of a bicyclist last Thursday near Sullivan Square in Charlestown has only fueled the urgency of the city of Boston’s efforts to enhance biker safety. City officials have made creating a safer environment for the hundreds of thousands of cyclists who regularly bike the roads a top priority, since Mayor Menino launched his biking initiative 7 years ago.

According to Boston Police, the cyclist was struck by a garbage truck. The driver of the truck left the scene because he “thought he hit a pothole;” a likely scenario according to officials because bicyclists can be hit by vehicles so big that the drivers never see or feel the impact.

Creating more bike-friendly roads and encouraging more people to ride bikes has been an important mission in the Hub. Most recently, Mayor Walsh announced the nation’s first program for doctors at Boston Medical Center to prescribe $5 Hubway bike-sharing memberships to low-income patients struggling with obesity. Already the city offers $5 Hubway memberships to nearly 900 low-income residents.

Boston was recently named a “Green Lane Project” city by PeopleForBikes, a national advocacy group for cyclists. And currently the city is working with the group to help lay the groundwork and prepare for major changes to roadways including a network of European-style cycle tracks that are protected from vehicle traffic for bicyclists and pedestrians. The goal is to have 10% of city commuters using bicycles by 2020.

Though many residents and Boston officials have shown serious enthusiasm for creating a more bike-friendly city (Cambridge was even named a Gold-level bike community last year), there is still a tremendous amount of work ahead for this goal to come to fruition. With more than three times the amount of bicycles on the road today in Cambridge and in Boston, than only a decade ago according to city officials more work needs to be done outside of infrastructural changes to enhance the safety of all cyclists.
Continue reading

Springfield police are searching for the driver of a light-colored Ford pickup truck that was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident early Wednesday night.

Police are asking the public for help to find the driver, and are currently reviewing surveillance video from a nearby business to help identify the truck’s license plate.

Bicycle riding, while an efficient mode of transportation, is dangerous especially for individuals who choose ride at night. Unlike passengers in motor vehicles, bicyclists have no physical protective barriers against outside elements like cars, trees, guardrails, fences, and other large vehicles, and are at the mercy of others traveling on the road.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than a half million people are treated for serious bicycle-related injuries each year, and more than 700 individuals die each year. A majority of these injuries are head injuries attributed to not wearing a helmet. Though many people dismiss the idea of wearing a helmet because of atheistic reasons, or because they feel their short commute does not warrant wearing one, wearing a helmet could make all the difference, and could even save a life. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that bicycle helmets are 85-88% effective in preventing severe head and brain injuries. Other types of injuries commonly sustained in bicycle accidents include concussions, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, lacerations, paralysis, and death.
Continue reading

Authorities in Middleborough have released new details in their search for the driver who struck and killed a local bicyclist last week.

Michael Dutra, 58, of Middleborough was the victim of the fatal hit-and-run accident, which occurred around 7 p.m. Friday evening. Authorities believe Dutra was either riding or walking his bicycle along Wood Street, where he resided.

Plymouth Country District Attorney Timothy Cruz, as well as Middleborough’s Chief of Police Bruce Gates, said that investigators of the accident had started to piece the scene together, and have collected debris from what they believe to be a light-colored model year 2005-2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Authorities think that the vehicle is possibly missing the front marker lens, may have a broken right headlight lens, as well as a damaged right front bumper. Investigators need your help. Anyone with any information regarding the case is encouraged to contact the Middleborough Police Department at (508) 947-1212.

While bike riding is a popular mode of transportation, it is also extremely dangerous, especially for individuals who choose ride at night. Unlike passengers in motor vehicles, bicyclists have no physical protective barriers against outside elements like cars, trees, guardrails, fences, and other large vehicles, and are at the mercy of others traveling on the road.

bike.jpgThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 500,000 people are treated for serious bicycle-related injuries each year, and more than 700 individuals die each year. A majority of these injuries are head injuries attributed to not wearing a helmet. Though many people dismiss the idea of wearing a helmet because of atheistic reasons, or because they feel their short commute does not warrant wearing one, wearing a helmet could make all the difference, and could even save a life. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that bicycle helmets are 85-88% effective in preventing severe head and brain injuries. Other types of injuries commonly sustained in bicycle accidents include concussions, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, lacerations, paralysis, and death.
Continue reading

Prosecutors will not be pressing charges against the Amherst truck driver who struck and killed a bicyclist last May.

Livingston Pangburn, a Hampshire College student, was fatally injured when he collided with an Amherst College box truck. According to the Northwestern district attorney’s office, Pangburn was traveling in heavy traffic along College Street, and did not stop with the traffic to allow the westbound truck to make a left turn onto the college’s campus.

fast-379343-m.jpgPolice reports stated that the driver of the truck did not see the cyclist in time to stop, and Pangburn was not able to maneuver around the truck in time to avoid the crash. Prosecutors do not believe that any impairment, cell phone use, or mechanical defects with the vehicle played a role in the accident.

While this is undoubtedly a tragic story, it also puts into perspective the dangers cyclists face when riding their bikes. Because bicyclists are extremely vulnerable compared to passengers to a motor vehicles due to their lack of physical barriers to protect themselves, it is crucial for them to do their part to prevent a serious accident from occurring.

5 Tips to Stay Safe on Your Bike

1. Always, always, always wear a helmet. While it seems to be a phrase engrained in everyone’s head, so many individuals do not understand how important helmets are in preventing serious head injuries. Some people dismiss the idea of wearing a helmet because of atheistic reasons, or because they feel their short commute doesn’t warrant wearing one. But wearing a helmet could make all the difference, and could even save a life.

2. Travel with the traffic, not against it. Always ride on the right side of the road, and go with the flow of traffic. Remember that bicycles are considered vehicles too, and cyclists are responsible for adhering to the same rules of the road as drivers. If you come to a stop sign or red light, you are legally bound to stop. In addition, you are responsible for yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks, just as motorists are.
Continue reading

Lawmakers in New Hampshire are considering changes to traffic laws after an unlicensed driver killed two cyclists just hours after she had been pulled over for speeding.

Darriean Hess, 19, was charged with two counts of negligent homicide after she plowed into a group of cyclists, fatally injuring two Massachusetts women, and seriously injuring two others. The cyclists were taking part in an annual charity ride along the New England coastline.

criminal-defense.jpgAccording to police reports, Hess had been stopped on the same road eight hours prior to the fatal accident and had been ticketed for speeding and driving without a license. The officer who had previously pulled Hess over had required her to wait for a licensed driver to pick up her and the vehicle she was driving. Hess is being held on $50,000 bail.

Under the current New Hampshire law, a driver may be charged with a misdemeanor only if he or she has already been cited for operating a vehicle without a license. Representative Renny Cushing, D-Hampton, has filed a bill that would make any violation committed by an unlicensed driver an automatic misdemeanor. If the new bill passed, police would have the option of arresting the driver or issuing a summons. The bill was submitted to New Hampshire police for their recommendations, but no other information on its progress is available.

According to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 90, Section 23, a person who is found driving while revoked, suspended, or otherwise unlicensed, may be subject to a fine from $500 to $1,000, and imprisoned for not more than 10 days, for the first offense. Subsequent offenses may result in 60 days to one year imprisonment as well as possible extension of suspension of license for an additional 60 days to one year.

While bike riding is a popular mode of transportation, especially in urban areas of Massachusetts, is can be extremely dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 700 people are killed in bicycle accidents and another 500,000 people are treated annually for bicycle-related injuries. While wearing a helmet can prevent some injuries to the brain, bicyclists are still extremely vulnerable and susceptible to suffering other types of serious injuries, such as neck and spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and even death.
Continue reading

A 12-year-old Waltham boy was seriously injured after he was struck by a dump truck while riding his bike this morning.

According to police reports, the young man was hit near Pine Street in Waltham by a 22-year-driver of a dump truck. The boy was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, and was conscious when rescue officials arrived at the scene. He was flown by helicopter to Children’s Hospital in Boston to be treated for severe head and elbow lacerations.

With school back in session, it is important for drivers to be aware of the extra foot and bicycle traffic on the roads during the morning commute. This instance is an unfortunate example of how inattention can lead to a serious accident, injury, and sometimes death.

1059798_cyclist.jpgPedestrians and bicyclists are extremely vulnerable compared to passengers to a motor vehicle because they do not have any physical barriers to protect themselves if they are hit by a car, truck, or any other vehicle or object on the road. Boston and the surrounding Massachusetts communities, like Waltham, are filled with activity and traffic that pose serious threats to pedestrians’ and bicyclists’ safety. Broken bones, serious cuts and lacerations, bruises, skin burns, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and even death are common injuries of pedestrian and bicycle accidents.

Both pedestrians and bicyclists can do their part to increase their own safety by:
Always wearing a helmet while riding a bike. Helmets are the most practical way to prevent a serious head or brain injury in the event of an accident.
• Wearing bright or reflective clothing, carrying a flashlight or wearing a flashing headlamp when walking or riding at dusk and at night. Wearing dark clothing makes it harder for drivers to see, but wearing reflective clothing will ensure that you will be better seen by vehicle operators.
• Walk on sidewalks whenever possible or walk against traffic when there are no sidewalks.
• Ride in designated bike lanes, use proper hand-gestures to signal turns, and follow the rules of the road. Remember that bicyclists must follow the same rules as cars.
• Cross at designated crosswalks and avoid jaywalking whenever possible.
Continue reading

State Police are looking into a Marlborough, MA box truck accident involving a bicyclist. The rider had to be flown by hair to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester following the morning traffic crash.

The trucker has not been criminally charged. However, he was cited for driving with an expired inspection sticker, not yielding to oncoming traffic, and marked lanes violation. Efforts are being made by the State Police to reconstruct what happened.

Massachusetts Bicycle Accident Cases

Contact Information