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Bicycle Lane Accidents

Top-Rated Boston Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Separated bike lanes are now used in the City of Boston.Over the years, Boston and Cambridge have developed impressive networks of bicycle lanes. Years ago, the cities painted traditional conventional bike lanes. Now, both cities have also added protected bike lanes in many areas (also called separated bike lanes or cycle tracks). These separate the bike lane from traffic with curbing, raised pavement, bollards, flex posts, landscaping or a row of parked cars. 

These new types of bike lanes are designed to protect cyclists, but drivers must still do their part to prevent bicycle accidents and injuries. This means checking for cyclists in bike lanes and intersections, and staying out of the bike lane. 

Bike Lanes in Boston and Cambridge

In Boston, you will find more than 60 miles of bike lanes, including conventional lanes and now single and two-way protected bike lanes. You can find protected bike lanes all over, running past Christopher Columbus Park into the North End, along the Longfellow Bridge and along Commonwealth Avenue in Back Bay, a multi-phase road improvement project. 

Cambridge has also started to install separated bike lanes. One was deployed on Lafayette Square near Sydney and Douglass streets, according to Wicked Local Cambridge. Separated bike lanes can also be found near Harvard Law School. The City of Cambridge wants to do more though. In 2019, the Cambridge City Council passed a safety ordinance which requires new permanent separated bike lanes be built when roads are upgraded. This could lead to a 20-mile network of permanent separated bike lanes.

Research on Bike Lanes

In 2019, the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported on two studies focusing on the effectiveness of protected bike lanes, compared to conventional bike lanes. 

At the University of Colorado Denver and University of New Mexico, researchers confirmed that protected bike lanes are an important safety tool. They reported that cities with more protected bike lanes per square mile have fewer fatalities and serious injuries. But after studying cyclists in Washington D.C., the researchers advised cities to locate protected bike lanes on roads with fewer junctions or to use raised cycle crossings.

Separately, the IIHS collaborated with researchers from three universities to study the characteristics of locations where cyclists were injured. Researchers studied 604 adult cyclists who crashed or fell on their bikes, then visited the ER in Washington D.C., New York or Oregon. 

Compared to a major road with no bike infrastructure, the study found the risk for a bike crash or fall was much lower on two-way protected bike lanes running along bridges or raised roadway. But, two-way protected bike lanes on street level had a much greater risk for bike crashes. Researchers concluded that cyclists traveling on a protected lane at street level are still likely to encounter vehicles at intersections, driveways and alleys. 

How Bicycle Lane Accidents Often Happen in Massachusetts

Bicycle accidents in bike lanes are different than other types of bike crashes. Drivers may travel down the road and never really look at the cyclist in the bike lane to their right. They should be checking though – in front, to each side and behind. Bicycle accidents near bike lanes are often caused by a marked lanes violation, when a driver crosses into the bike lane, or a driver’s failure to yield to a cyclist.

Distracted driving and aggressive driving are also prevalent causes. When Massachusetts drivers become impatient or right out abusive, they become more focused on their emotions than driving. This can cause them to veer into the bike lane. There are also times when pedestrians, not cars, are responsible for bike lane accidents

Pedestrians may step into a bike lane without looking or there may not be adequate street signs to alert them about the bike lane. Then there are dooring accidents. This is when a driver neglects to look and opens a car door right into the bike lane, blocking a cyclist’s path. Someone on the passenger’s side can also cause injury this way. These are very serious accidents which require immediate medical care and reporting to police. 

Large trucks can also cause bike lane accidents. Cyclists typically travel level with a large truck’s wheels, leaving them highly vulnerable when drivers neglect to check their mirrors. Cyclists can be hit from the right side with a large truck's freight (which causes 22 percent of all bicycle fatalities, according to 2016 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Large trucks can also cut cyclists off at intersections. These are often called right hook accidents, but they can also happen from other angles. 

Contact Boston, MA Bicycle Accident Attorneys – Free Legal Consultation

If you have been injured by negligent driving, Breakstone, White & Gluck can advise you on your legal rights. With decades of experience, our Boston bicycle accident lawyers are skilled in negotiating with auto insurance companies. We are also committed to taking each client's case as far as we must to ensure you receive full and fair compensation. For a free legal consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
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David really cared about me as an individual…and he really cared about seeking the justice that needed to be sought in the case. Peter
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Ron got the insurance company to settle for the maximum on the policy. And so as a result of that, my son went back to school. Jeff
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Marc just guided us through the whole process. He told us exactly what would happen and how we needed to go about doing everything. Jesenia
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I would recommend David…The outcome of my case, I was very pleased with it. I hope I don't have another accident, but if I do we'll be back to see David. Paul
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Ron was excellent. He was on top of everything. He answered every question. John
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Marc was extremely professional. I felt very confident that he knew exactly what he was doing. This is his area of practice and I had total confidence in him and I actually have recommended him to other people who have been in accidents. Josh