Bicycle-Truck Crashes

Commercial truckLarge commercial vehicles, tractor-trailers and garbage trucks are the greatest danger to cyclists. Over the past few years, large truck crashes have seriously injured and killed numerous cyclists in Boston and Cambridge. We understand these accidents are devastating and unimaginable for families. If you or a loved one has been injured, it is critical to contact an experienced and proven truck accident lawyer who has represented cyclists who have been injured by large trucks. These cases are different than other types of bicycle accident cases. Our Boston truck accident attorneys stand ready to start an immediate investigation, determine what happened and stand up for your rights.

Contact a Boston Truck Crash Lawyer
Breakstone, White & Gluck has over 100 years combined experience representing cyclists and other victims of truck and bus accidents. We are strong supporters of cyclist clubs and advocacy organizations, including MassBike, Boston Cyclists Union, New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA), Charles River Wheelmen and Northeast Bicycle Club. We are committed to pursuing the best result for every client and providing aggressive and compassionate representation every step of the way.

When you turn to Breakstone, White & Gluck, you get a law firm with a long track record of top results for past clients. We have been consistently recognized for our work, including as Top 100 New England Super Lawyers and Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers. For a free legal consultation, contact our firm at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.


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Recent Truck Accidents Injuring Cyclists in Boston and Cambridge

Between 2010 and 2014, 11 cyclists died in motor vehicle crashes in Boston, according to city figures. Seven were killed by a truck or bus. In some cases, truck drivers kept traveling.
  • In April 2014, a cyclist was hit and killed by a garbage truck in Charlestown. This was a hit-and-run truck crash. According to media reports, the truck driver said he thought he hit a pothole so he kept driving. 

  • In September 2014, a cyclist was hit by a garbage truck at the corner of Inman and Harvard streets in Cambridge during the morning commute. 
  • In May 2015, a cyclist was killed by a truck on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston's Back Bay.

  • In June 2016, 27-year-old Amanda Phillips was killed in a truck crash in Inman Square. The cyclist first collided with an open Jeep door, then was hit by a landscaping truck.

  • In October 2016, a cyclist was seriously injured in a Cambridge truck crash in Kendall Square.

  • A few days later, Bernard Lavin, 60, died in a tractor-trailer accident in Porter Square in Cambridge.

How Truck vs. Bicycle Crashes Happen

Injured person in a wheelchair in a hospitalTrucks can hit cyclists from behind, while turning or in side-impact crashes. Side-impact crashes kill cyclists in nearly half of all bike vs. truck crashes, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center (U.S. DOT Volpe Center). Side-impact crashes kill pedestrians in one quarter of pedestrian vs. truck crashes. When a truck hits from the side, cyclists can fall - and worse. The cyclist can get swept under the truck cargo and become trapped in the area between the wheels.

Truck crashes are preventable if companies upgrade their fleet's equipment with side guards and mirrors. Side guards cover the area between the truck's wheels and the cargo, blocking it off from cyclists and pedestrians. According to the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, upgrades can cost less than $1,000 per vehicle and have proven effective. Side guards reduced cyclist deaths by 61 percent and serious injuries by 13 percent in the United Kingdom, according to a study by Transport for London.

Beyond equipment, truck companies have to commit to follow safety practices. Truck drivers who speed, make faulty turns at intersections and operate with fatigue put cyclists at high risk. Operators of large trucks should never use cell phones. The state of Massachusetts bans texting while driving and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) bans use of hand-held mobile devices for operators of commercial motor vehicles.

Trucks of any size carrying unsecured loads - such as furniture or construction equipment - are another growing problem for cyclists.

Our Experience: Investigating Truck Crashes


Attorney Ronald E. Gluck explains, "Trucking companies often withhold information, make it very difficult to find out what the cause of an accident was. We are experts in obtaining this information and leave no stone unturned in determining why a truck flipped over or why a trucker was unable to stop in time to avoid rear-ending another vehicle." Some trucking companies will set up complicated leasing and insurance arrangements to try to avoid taking responsibility for a crash. Watch the 90-second video to learn more.

Our Experience: Trial Technology for Bus Accident Case


When a case involving a large vehicle crash goes to trial, it is critical to present a strong accident re-enactment to the jury. Attorney Marc L. Breakstone presented this re-enactment to a Suffolk Superior Court jury, showing where our client was in the crosswalk when she was hit by an MBTA bus. The jury awarded our client $3.97 million. After the MBTA's appeal, the final award for our client was $7.1 million.


Truck Side Guard Ordinances

In October 2014, Boston became the first U.S. city to approve a truck side guard ordinance. The City Council voted to require truck side guards, convex mirrors, cross-over mirrors and blind-spot awareness decals for all city-contracted trucks. The ordinance applies to motor vehicles which weigh more than 10,000 pounds and semi-trailers over 26,000 pounds. Some vehicles are exempt, such as trucks used exclusively for snow plowing. Read more about the City of Boston's Truck Side Guard Ordinance

In 2015, the City of Cambridge partnered with the U.S. DOT Volpe Center to retrofit city trucks with side guards. In 2016, statewide legislation was proposed in Massachusetts.

 U.S. Cities with Truck Side Guard Ordinances
Boston
Boston's City Council approved the first in the nation truck side guard ordinance in October 2014.
New York City
New York City's initial plan was to outfit 240 city trucks with side guards. Now, the city is looking ahead to meeting a new goal of 10,000 trucks by 2024.
Chicago
In July 2017, the Chicago City Council approved a truck side guard ordinance.
Seattle
In February 2017, Seattle announced it would retrofit city owned trucks. 

Free Legal Consultation
Learn your rights. If you were injured in a truck crash in Boston, Cambridge or another part of Massachusetts, contact our truck accident attorneys. For a free legal consultation, contact us at 800-379-1244 or 627-723-7676 or use our contact form.

Client Reviews
David really cared about me as an individual…and he really cared about seeking the justice that needed to be sought in the case.
★★★★★
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
★★★★★
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
★★★★★
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
★★★★★
Ron was excellent. He was on top of everything. He answered every question. John
★★★★★
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
★★★★★