Riding a bicycle is increasingly becoming not just a method of exercise or a way to relax and enjoy nature, but instead a way to commute to work or school. As the Boston Globe points out, the popularity of bicycle riding has soared in recent years and policymakers are encouraging motorists to embrace this environmentally-friendly method of transportation by adding more bicycle lanes to busy roads.
Unfortunately, a personal injury lawyer knows that with more bicycle riders, there is greater potential for bicycle collisions. Because bikes provide minimal or no protection from the impact of a crash or from hitting the road, injuries can often be serious after a bicycle accident. These crashes often cause permanent damage or have deadly consequences for cyclists.
Bike-Accident Deaths Increasing in the Boston Suburbs
The Boston Globe has addressed the problem of increasing bicycle accidents as the number of bike riders on the road has increased. Between 2010 and 2012, the number of motor vehicle collisions involving bicycles in the Greater Boston suburban area increased by nine percent. Between 2010 and 2012, there were more than 100 crashes in each Newton, Lynn, Somerville and Lowell. In Quincy, there were 61 bike accidents and in Brockton there were 79.
Throughout Massachusetts, there was a 13 percent increase in bicycle accidents during the same period of time. Around 70 percent of bicycle collisions in the state of Massachusetts resulted in injuries.
In Boston suburbs, there were 12 deaths of bicycle riders during the period of time involved in the study. In 2010, two bicyclists were killed. In 2011, three bicycle riders lost their lives. In 2012, there were seven deaths. This exponential increase is a dangerous trend.
Although the greatest overall number of bike accidents took place in cities and towns to the north and west of Boston, about half of the fatalities happened in cities and towns located to the south of Boston.
The executive director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition does not believe that the increase in deadly crashes is being caused solely by the fact that there are more bike riders on the roads. The Bicycle Coalition believes that more steps should be taken in order to improve conditions and make the roads safer for bike riders.
Redesigning roads to make them safer for all users, continuing to build bicycle infrastructure and providing education to the public to change the way they think about bike safety are all things the government could do to reduce the number of serious or deadly bicycle accidents.
Drivers also need to be aware of the fact that there are more bikers not just in cities but in surrounding suburbs as well. If drivers do their part, staying out of bicycle lanes, driving a reasonable speed, paying attention and yielding to bike riders when required, hopefully the increase in bike accident deaths can be stopped and fewer bicycle riders will lose their lives.
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. Serving Boston, Back Bay, Fenway, North End, South End, Allston, Beacon Hill, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and surrounding areas.