If you use a bicycle to commute around Boston, you know it can sometimes feel like you’re taking your very life in your hands. Inattentive drivers and heavy traffic can make even a short bike ride dangerous. To prove this point, a UK cyclist who goes by the handle CycleGaz is giving motorists a virtual taste of what it feels like to navigate a bicycle through city streets.
Jalopnik writes about CycleGaz’s goal, which is “to finally put drivers in the bicycle seat to show them just how scary it is to be a cyclist today.” CycleGaz commutes throughout London every day, using a camera on his helmet to record his close calls and highlight the dangerous driving he encounters. However, he found that non-bicyclists don’t get a sense of the danger unless they can relate to it themselves.
The end result shows his daily bike ride, but from the perspective of a driver – which changes everything:
CycleGaz uploads his original footage first and follows it up with the bikecam video converted into a dashcam one. A car interior overlay, including a hand on a steering wheel, obscures his front bike wheel, gear, and brake cables.
“When I post the cycling footage [of bad driving], many people can’t see the issue,” said CycleGaz.
However, when the same example of bad driving is converted into dashcam footage, lightbulbs go off in heads, believes CycleGaz, who commutes to central London from the outskirts, riding 36 miles daily. (He works in IT and wishes to remain anonymous.)
Viewers can watch as CycleGaz is cut off in traffic and has a variety of close calls.
You can watch all of his videos here (be warned CycleGaz uses profanity at times, so you may want to mute your sound if you’re watching at work or in public). You can also check out his videos on Twitter.
Bicyclists are at risk throughout Massachusetts
Here in Massachusetts, approximately seven bicyclists are killed in traffic accidents every year. Deadly accidents happen most in July and November, and between noon and 6 pm. Nearly 30% happened at an intersection. Common causes of Boston bike accidents include:
- Driver inattention or distraction. Motorists who are not paying attention to the road or who are distracted by their phones, passengers, or other factors may not see cyclists, resulting in collisions.
- Failure to yield. Drivers who fail to yield to cyclists when making turns or changing lanes can cause serious crashes.
- Drivers who are traveling at high speeds may have less time to react to bicyclists and may be more likely to cause collisions.
- Poor road conditions. Potholes, debris, and other hazards on the road can be dangerous for cyclists and can cause accidents.
- Equipment failure. Bicycle equipment, such as brakes or tires, that’s not properly maintained or that fails during use can cause a collision or crash.
It’s important to note that many bicycle accidents are preventable. Motorists can take steps to be more attentive and cautious on the road, while cyclists can take steps to ride safely and obey traffic laws. Bicycle infrastructure, such as dedicated bike lanes and paths, can also help reduce the risk of accidents.
If you’re in a bike accident in Boston
If you’re involved in a bicycle accident here in Boston, there are several steps you should take to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights:
- Call the police. Call the police to report the accident and wait for them to arrive. They can help document the accident and create an official report that will be important if you decide to pursue legal action.
- Seek medical attention. If you’re injured, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away. Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s a good idea to get a medical evaluation, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
- Exchange information. Exchange contact information with the other party involved in the accident, including their name, phone number, license plate number, driver’s license, and insurance company.
- Document the accident. Take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to your bicycle or other property, damage to the other vehicle, and any injuries you sustained.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Contact your insurance company and report the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with any information or documentation you have about the accident. However, you’re not required to offer anything other than facts. Your lawyer can provide details.
- Contact a personal injury If you were injured in the accident, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney who has experience with bicycle accidents. They can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation for any injuries or damages you may have suffered.
Remember that your health and safety are the most important things after a bicycle accident. Seek medical attention right away and follow the advice of your doctor. Your attorney can deal with the legal and insurance aspects of the accident on your behalf.
At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we have a team of dedicated personal injury attorneys who have decades of experience representing clients in bicycle accident cases. We understand the unique challenges faced by cyclists on the roads of Boston and are committed to helping our clients obtain justice and fair compensation for their injuries and damages.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident, don’t hesitate to contact our Boston offices today. With our knowledge and experience on your side, you can feel confident knowing that you have a dedicated team of legal professionals fighting for your rights and best interests. Call our office or complete our contact form for a free, no-obligation consultation.