Bicycling is popular amongst Massachusetts residents, both as a means of transportation as well as for leisure. The state has created and fostered a sense of community amongst bicyclists by designating more bike lanes and designing laws to protect cyclists. However, despite, caution on the part of bicyclists, they are often involved in serious accidents with drivers with whom they share the road. According to the United States Department of Transportation, there have been over 500,000 bicycle injuries and 8,000 fatalities in the last ten years. Many of these serious injuries and deaths occur in heavily populated and dense urban areas, such as Boston. In many Massachusetts bicycle accident cases, the bicyclist is not at fault, and may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against the at-fault party.
Some common causes of Massachusetts bike accidents are inattentive driving, failing to provide cyclists with enough room on the road, or otherwise violating traffic laws. Further, cyclists may also suffer injuries because of defective bike parts such as faulty brakes or tires. Additionally, poor road conditions, inadequate road signs, or defective traffic control devise may result in a Massachusetts bike accident. Finally, one of the most common causes of bike injuries is from “dooring accidents.” Dooring accidents occur when a driver opens their car door onto a bike path. Massachusetts has specific statutes designed to protect against these accidents. However, despite these laws, dooring is the cause of almost 20% of all bike accidents.
These accidents can have serious and life-altering consequences for cyclists. Accident victims often suffer broken bones, soft tissue injuries, brain injuries, fractures, amputations, spinal cord injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even death. For example, recently, a local Boston news report described the tragic death of a bicyclist hit by a car. According, to the attorney general’s office, three bicyclists were hit when they were riding their bikes in Ipswich. The man was airlifted to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries; the other two cyclists are still recovering.