Newton Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Breakstone, White & Gluck is experienced in representing cyclists after bicycle accidents in Newton and throughout the Boston area. We have represented dozens of cyclists who have been injured as a result of negligent driving. We understand the importance of prompt and thorough investigation to gather relevant facts from witnesses, and often from the many video cameras along the roadways. We are committed to getting our clients the maximum amount for the damages they have sustained.
Having seen many injuries, our firm is also committed to promoting cycling education and safety. Breakstone, White & Gluck founded our Project KidSafe campaign in 2013 and has donated over 30,000 bike helmets to children across Massachusetts. We have earned recognition as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Business from the American League of Bicyclists. And we contribute to many local and regional cycling advocacy and recreational organizations.
Bicycle Safety in Newton, MA
Bicycle safety is an important topic in the City of Newton, where cyclists travel through 13 distinct villages. With more than 88,000 residents, Newton is located just seven miles from downtown Boston and roads such as Commonwealth Avenue and Washington Street run along the Boston Marathon route. The city is home to many bike commuters who travel daily into Boston, Brookline, Watertown, Waltham or Needham. Many other commuters pass through the city on their way to work.
Within the city, Bike Newton encourages cycling as a healthy and enjoyable way to commute. The non-profit organization advocates for safety improvements such as bike lanes and hosts community rides, such as the Tour De Newton. The Newton Bicycle/Pedestrian Task Force is an independent citizen activist group which works with the city and community groups.
Cyclists of all ages ride in Newton, including college students. Boston College is based in Chestnut Hill. Boston College School of Law and Hebrew College are located in Newton Centre. Lasell University is based in Auburndale.
Cyclists can ride their own bike or rent a dockless bike in Newton. In 2018, LimeBike began offering the dockless bike rentals as part of the Massachusetts Area Planning Council’s regional bike share.
Massachusetts Laws for Bicyclists
In Massachusetts, the primary law regulating bicycle use is M.G.L. c. 85, § 11B. The primary law concerning motor vehicle operation near bicycles is M.G.L. c. 90, § 14.
Drivers must share the road with cyclists in Massachusetts. Cyclists have the right to travel on all roads in Massachusetts, except state highways where signs prohibit bicycle use. Cyclists have the right to ride up to two abreast in the travel lane (so long as they do not impede traffic) or on the right of motor vehicles using the travel lane. Cyclists are generally not permitted to travel on sidewalks (except outside business districts when necessary for safety).
Bicycle Accidents at Newton Intersections
Drivers in the Boston area are known for cutting off cyclists as they turn, in “right hook” or “left hook” accidents. These are some of the most dangerous of accidents. Drivers of large vehicles, such as commercial trucks and vans, have caused these bicycle accidents due to distraction, fatigue or not checking their mirrors. Cyclists can be struck or be swept under the carriage of trucks. But it’s not just large vehicles; cars and other passenger vehicles also endanger cyclists daily at Boston area intersections.
In Newton, police have reported high numbers of car accidents in many areas. Some of the highest crash rates are at the intersections of Centre and Walnut streets in Newton Highlands and Quinobequin Road and Washington Street in Lower Falls, according to local news reports.
Massachusetts drivers are required to provide a safe distance to the left when passing other vehicles, including bicycles. M.G.L. c. 89, § 2.
Bike Lane Accidents
Many bicycle accidents happen in bike lanes where cyclists should be protected. To reinforce this message, Massachusetts adopted a statewide law which prohibited drivers from parking in bike lanes in 2017. The law states motor vehicle operators shall not stand or park vehicles in lanes designated for cyclists. Drivers can be cited and fined for this misconduct.
It is against the law for drivers to open their doors onto cyclists or pedestrians in Massachusetts. When a cyclist is injured in a dooring accident, police can investigate and issue a citation and $100 fine. A citation can be used to support a cyclist's claim seeking compensation for their injuries, along with witness statements and other evidence from the accident scene.
Contact a Newton Bicycle Accident Attorney
With more than 100 years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck is committed to providing aggressive representation to bicyclists who have been injured. Our attorneys have consistently been recognized as top personal injury lawyers in Boston, including our selection to the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers and Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers. For a free legal consultation, contact our attorneys at 800-379-1244.