Bicycle riders and drivers are being forced to coexist more on the roads as people increasingly turn to bicycling as a method of commuting or getting exercise. This is especially true in Boston, which has been named one of America's Best Cities for Biking. Unfortunately, even in bike-friendly cities like Boston, tensions can arise when bicycle riders and drivers have to co-exist on crowded city roads.
Just recently, the Washington Post published several articles with a long list of complaints about different behaviors that bicycle riders are doing that creates problems for drivers and that may be making the roads dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians. Bicycle riders, for their part, are trying to get accommodations made to ensure they are safe even as the death toll rises.
When a bicycle accident occurs, it is likely there will be lots of finger-pointing regarding who is to blame. A personal injury attorney can help victims to investigate the cause of the crash and prove liability.
Are Bicycle Riders Sharing the Roads?
Several Washington Post columnists have raised myriad complaints about bicycle riders including allegations that:
- Bike riders are demanding too many bicycle lanes, resulting in less space for other essential motorist services like parking.
- Bicycle riders are riding their bikes on sidewalks when they shouldn't be and are endangering pedestrians.
- Bicycle riders are riding without lights at night time, increasing the risk of pedestrian collisions or accidents with motor vehicles.
- Bicycle riders are riding in the bike lanes going in the wrong direction.
- Bicycle riders are slowing traffic by riding downtown during rush hour or by pushing their way to the front of a line of stopped cars and then making all of the cars wait when the light turns and the rider slowly pushes ahead.
- Bicycle riders are not following the same rules of the road as drivers are held to, even though they are supposed to do so.
While some of these concerns may be legitimate, bicycle riders also have the right and responsibility to speak out and demand that the roads be made safer for them.
Recent news from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that the number of bicycle riders increased six percent between 2011 and 2012. There were a total of 726 bicycle riders who were killed in motor vehicle collisions in 2012 and another 49,000 bike riders suffered injury in accidents. Sixty-nine percent of bicycle rider deaths have occurred in urban areas, which is where the greatest conflicts tend to be between riders and drivers.
In total, bicycle riders accounted for two percent of the people injured and two percent of the people killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2012. Many of these bicycle riders were hurt or lost their lives because drivers behaved negligently and failed to share the road.
Both bicycle riders and drivers need to respect each other's right to be on the streets and need to follow driver safety rules in order to reduce the risk of chances and keep everyone safe.
Boston accident victims may contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 or can visit http://www.marksalomone.com.