Tips for Safe Bike Commuting in Boston
In Boston, more people are cycling to work and school than ever before. This is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise, while avoiding the Boston traffic gridlock.
If you plan to join the cyclists, we hope you enjoy the benefits. But before you ride, we encourage you to learn about traffic laws and road conditions in Boston and nearby communities.
- Boston Bicycling Maps and Apps
- Boston Bike Lanes and Bike Paths
- Massachusetts Bicycle Laws
- Dangerous Boston Streets and Intersections for Cyclists
- Boston Bike Sharing
- Wearing Bike Helmets in Boston
- Boston Bike Parking
- Winter Biking in Boston
- Boston Bike Accidents - Reporting
- Boston Bike Dooring Accidents
- Protecting Yourself Through Your Massachusetts Auto Insurance Policy
- Boston Area Bike Groups
Looking for a bike path with a beautiful view? Boston has many, starting with the Charles River Esplanade, the North Bank Bridge under the Zakim to the Charlestown Waterfront Bike Path and the Lower Neponset River Trail, which runs from Dorchester to Milton. For more ideas, we suggest this article, "The Best Bike Paths in Boston," published by Boston Magazine.
Where you ride is important. Motorists have a responsibility to share the road with cyclists. Cyclists are allowed to ride in the center of the traffic lane. This may be the safest option at times. But for the most part, try riding on the right side of the road or in the bike lane, traveling in the same direction as traffic. This prevents traffic from backing up.
The City of Boston encourages cyclists to ride in the street and save the sidewalk for pedestrians. You can use the sidewalk if you must in the interest of safety, except where signs and markings prohibit this.
Like motorists, you must follow traffic laws, such as stopping at red lights. To learn more, read our article, Quick Facts About Cycling in Massachusetts.
- Boston Bikes Map is a starting point for learning about dangerous intersections in Boston.
- The Boston Cyclist Safety Report (2013) also provides background on bike accident locations in Boston.
- Boston Cyclists Union's website provides updates on dangerous areas for cyclists and advocates for safety improvements
Visit the emergency room if you are involved in a bicycle accident. Go right away. The sooner you are examined, the sooner you can understand your injuries and receive medical treatment if you need it.
But dooring is a common occurrence in Boston and Cambridge. Too many cyclists will tell you a driver has opened a door onto their path and they were seriously injured or managed to dodge a major injury. Just as dangerous is when Uber and Lyft vehicles let passengers board or commercial trucks stop to make deliveries.
Cyclists who are injured by a car door should report the crash to police just as they would any other type of collision. Again, you should also receive immediate medical attention.bike accident. Still, it is important to understand your insurance policies. If you are ever hit and injured on your bike, you may be able to file a claim against the driver's auto insurance policy if they were at fault. But if the driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may have to look to your Massachusetts auto insurance policy.
Bike Safety Resources at Boston Colleges and UniversitiesYour college or university may also offer bike safety resources. Check with the commuter or transportation office or the campus police department. A few websites to start with: Boston University bike safety web page and the Boston College Police Department's bike safety resources.
Updated March 2022.
About Breakstone, White & Gluck
Breakstone, White & Gluck has been consistently recognized as a top-rated Boston personal injury law firm. While we represent cyclists who have been injured, for the past decade, we have also worked to encourage cyclists to wear helmets and protect against head injuries on bikes through our Project KidSafe campaign.
Since 2013, our Project KidSafe campaign has partnered with more than 50 community organizations - police departments, schools, bicycle committees and Massachusetts Safe Routes to School - and donated more than 33,000 bicycle helmets to children across Massachusetts. The American League of Bicyclists has twice recognized Breakstone, White & Gluck as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Business.
If you have been injured by someone else's negligence, learn your legal rights. For a free legal consultation, contact our attorneys at 800-379-1233 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.