Distracted Driving and Bicycle Accidents in Boston
In Boston, as in many other cities across the United States, distracted driving is a growing problem that puts bicyclists at risk of injury or even death. As personal injury attorneys, we have seen firsthand the devastating consequences of bicycle accidents caused by distracted driving. Our bike accident attorneys have been helping injured cyclists for decades. Here are just a few of our successes in cases involving negligent and/or distracted drivers:
- $1,800,000 for a cyclist hit in a crosswalk who suffered brain trauma and post-concussion syndrome.
- $450,000 for a cyclist who sustained leg fractures.
- $350,000 for a cyclist who suffered hip and pelvic injuries after being hit by a driver.
- Confidential settlement amount for the family of a physician who was killed by a truck.
Distracted driving is a term used to describe any activity that diverts a driver's attention away from the road. This can include everything from talking or texting on a cell phone to eating, drinking, or even grooming. Unfortunately, the consequences of distracted driving are often severe.
According to the Bike Adviser, although bicycle accident injuries are decreasing, fatalities are increasing:
- 425,910 bicyclists were injured in 2020 across the country
- 938 bicyclists were killed
- 58% of these accidents involved a distracted driver
- 78% of bike accidents occur in urban areas
Per Bike Adviser, “Indeed, the fact that the majority of bike fatalities occur in metropolitan locations coincides with a higher number of both bicyclists and vehicles in those settings.”
How does distracted driving contribute to Boston bicycle accidents?
First and foremost, distracted driving can cause drivers to fail to see bicyclists on the road. When a driver is focused on their phone or other distractions, they may not be paying attention to the road ahead of them. This can make it difficult for them to spot bicyclists with whom they are sharing the road. As a result, they may collide with a bicyclist whom they failed to see on the roadway.
Another instance in which distracted driving can cause bicycle accidents is when drivers make sudden and unexpected maneuvers. When a driver is distracted, they may not be able to react quickly enough to changes in traffic or road conditions. This can cause them to swerve or brake suddenly, which can catch bicyclists off guard and lead to collisions causing terrible consequences.
Finally, distracted driving can cause drivers to misjudge their speed or distance from other vehicles on the road. This can be particularly dangerous when it comes to bicyclists, as drivers may not realize how close they are to a bicyclist until it is too late.
Unfortunately, the consequences of bicycle accidents caused by distracted driving can be severe. Bicyclists who are hit by distracted drivers may suffer injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries. In some cases, these injuries can be life-threatening or even fatal.
As Boston personal injury attorneys, our job is to help clients who have been injured in bicycle accidents caused by distracted driving. This involves gathering evidence, working with medical experts to determine the extent of our clients' injuries, and negotiating with insurance companies to secure the compensation our clients need to cover their medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. If negotiations fail, we will fight in court to secure the compensation to which our clients are entitled.
Preventing Boston bicycle accidents
However, as important as it is to hold distracted drivers accountable for their actions, it is even more important to prevent bicycle accidents caused by distracted driving from happening in the first place. This requires a multi-faceted approach that involves education, enforcement, infrastructure improvements, and individual responsibility.
One of the most important steps we can take to prevent bicycle accidents caused by distracted driving is education. Both drivers and bicyclists need to be educated about the dangers of distracted driving and how it can contribute to accidents. This education should emphasize the importance of staying focused on the road at all times and avoiding distractions like cell phones and other devices.
Another important step is enforcement. Police in Boston should be vigilant about enforcing distracted driving laws and issuing tickets to drivers who are caught using their phones or engaging in other distracting activities while driving. This can help to create a culture of accountability and discourage drivers from engaging in distracted driving behaviors.
In addition to education and enforcement, infrastructure improvements can also play an important role in preventing bicycle accidents caused by distracted driving. By creating dedicated bike lanes and protected bike paths, we can help safely separate bicyclists from motor vehicle traffic and reduce the likelihood of accidents. This can also help to encourage more people to use bicycles as a means of transportation, which can have numerous health and environmental benefits.
Finally, individual responsibility is also crucial in preventing bicycle accidents caused by distracted driving. Both drivers and bicyclists need to take responsibility for their safety and the safety of others on the road. This means avoiding distractions while driving or riding a bike, following traffic laws and signals, and being aware of the other vehicles and people on the road.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by distracted driving, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney. The experienced lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck are here to help you understand your legal rights and options, and work to secure the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. With the right legal representation, you can focus on your recovery and get back to living your life as soon as possible. Call our office or complete our contact form today to set up a consultation.