Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

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bikeCambridge, Massachusetts – On October 5, 2016, Bernard Lavins, a 60-year-old doctor, was riding his bicycle in Porter Square during rush hour, when he was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer.

Mr. Lavins was struck by a Ryder truck with decals bearing the name Mitlitsky Eggs, a company that is based in Lebanon, Connecticut. He was struck at around 8:00 AM, at the intersection of Massachusetts and Somerville avenues. Cyclists passing by the scene expressed shock and sadness. Cambridge defines itself as a bicycle friendly city, but events like this have shaken cyclists who largely traverse through the city using their bicycles. Continue reading

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Amanda Phillips of Cambridge, a 27-year-old bicyclist was killed on Thursday, June 23, 2016 after she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle through Inman Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The crash is still under investigation.

In a statement made last Friday, Massachusetts State Police stated that a preliminary reconstruction of the crash indicated that Phillips had maneuvered from the sidewalk to the open roadway where she struck the open door of a parked jeep as a person prepared to get out. The impact then pushed the cyclist into traffic where she collided with a landscaping truck.

The crash occurred at around 12:17 p.m. at the intersection of Hampshire and Cambridge streets, in Cambridge’s Inman Square. Inman Square is an exceptionally busy four-way intersection often packed with cars, pedestrians, MBTA buses, and bikers. Following the accident, Phillips was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

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Earlier this month, fifty-year-old Charles Pickett of Battle Creek, Michigan crashed his car into nine bicyclists and then fled the scene.  He is now facing five counts of second-degree murder and four counts of reckless driving causing serious bodily harm.

Just minutes prior to the collision, police in the area had received several concerned calls prompting them to search for an erratically driving truck.  According to one eyewitness, he had just narrowly missed being hit by the truck as he was leaving a local park. He further stated that he didn’t have time to warn the bicyclists before the truck collided into the group – ranging in age from 40 to 74.file000619457980-1

The bicyclists were part of a group who referred to themselves as the “Chain Gang” and regularly took long rides together. They were just 5-miles into their typical 30 mile ride when Pickett struck the bike-enthusiasts. According to the Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Department, after the truck made impact, Pickett bailed from his truck and fled the scene on foot. Police were able to swiftly find and arrest him.

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bicycle-1515716With the longer days, warmer weather, and budding flowers, many winter-weary Bostonians will be choosing to travel by foot or by bicycle during the warmer months this year. In fact, Boston is the leading U.S. city of pedestrian and biking commuters according to The Alliance for Biking and Walking. Unfortunately, bike accidents present a serious safety risk in Boston.

Biking is an excellent form of both transportation and exercise. It is also a great way to get around without the additional cost of gas and harmful carbon emissions of cars. While there are many benefits to using bikes, it can also be an extremely dangerous way to travel without taking the proper precautions.

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file000619457980-1.jpgIn a recent article on boston.com, “Meet the Mayoral Candidates: Making Cycling Safer,” Boston mayoral candidates offered their suggestions on cycling safety plans to be implemented in and around the city.  It is encouraging to see the candidates thinking about bicycle safety, which is often an underappreciated hazard.  Each of the candidates offered impactful suggestions.  Some of the highlights include: 

  • Candidate Bill Walczak stressed helmet use, along with motorist and bicyclist education.  He also advocates more prominent and protected bike lanes.
  • Candidate John Barrows offers a slightly different focus, suggesting that we gear safety training toward groups with higher crash rates.  These groups include area college students, cyclists, and MBTA and taxi operators.  Workplace and on-campus training would be a focus of Mr. Barrows, along with making helmets and reflective/illumination products more readily available.  

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Two recent fatalities after bicyclists were struck by cars–one in Dorchester and the other in South Boston–highlight the need for safe and aware riding on Boston’s streets, which are heavily congested with vehicular traffic, foot traffic, and other commuters. Further, bicycling in the city has become an increasingly popular mode of travel, especially with the success of the Hubway bike sharing program and designated bicycle lanes on certain roads. As such, motorists need to remain cognizant and safely share the road with their two-wheel counterparts and bicyclists need to ride defensively, in appropriate lanes and areas, and with high visibility.

According to a recent article in the Boston Globe, 37% of all Boston bike accidents in 2009 were the result of a collision with a car. As such, the Boston bicycle accident attorneys at Bellotti Law Group offer the following safety tips to help reduce and avoid car-bike accidents.

1. Be Visible: Quite simply, wear bright colored clothing and reflectors, especially at night.

2. Use a White Front and Red Rear Light:
Like automobiles, if you must travel at night, your bike should be equipped with a white front headlight and a rear red light to increase your visibility.