Too Often, Bicyclists Find Massachusetts Secondary Roads Treacherous
September 6th, 2016
Dedicated Attorneys Serving Injured Bicyclists throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts
As recently reported, a 59-year-old Westford man was struck and killed by an SUV as he road his bicycle near Lincoln, Massachusetts on August 17, 2016. While details of the accident were sketchy, various persons on the scene noted that the secondary road where the accident occurred had curves, and some vegetation may have obscured the driver’s visibility.
The incident points out an all-too-common fact: Bicyclists have to be extremely careful when riding on roads and highways, particularly Massachusetts secondary roads in rural areas. A light traffic condition in rural areas doesn’t always translate to safe conditions.
Bicycle Accidents Often Cause Serious Injury or Death
According to information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during 2013 (the last year for which full data has been assembled), 900 bicyclists in the U.S. were killed in crashes. There were an estimated 494,000 emergency department visits due to bicycle-related injuries.
Hospital Admissions for Cyclists on the Rise
Unfortunately, a cyclist’s trip to the ER often doesn’t result in a quick discharge. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the number of hospital admissions because of bike injuries more than doubled between the years 1998 and 2013, due mostly to increased numbers of persons taking up cycling. JAMA also notes that the rise was the biggest with bikers ages 45 and over.
Cyclists Take Caution
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 45 percent of cyclist fatalities are caused each year by the cyclist being struck from behind. In many of these instances, the vehicle driver is negligent, either failing to keep a proper look out, driving at an unsafe speed, or failing to leave room for the bicyclist when passing.
The second most common accident that leads to fatality among cyclists is being struck from the side. Safety experts suggest all bicyclists do at least the following:
- Be particularly vigilant about cars approaching from behind
- Be as visible or noticeable as possible
- Have rear-facing lights, preferably lights that blink on and off
- Install additional reflectors on the sides, front and rear of the bike
- Never get caught on a bike at dusk or later without a strong light
Drivers Should Take Heed of Increased Numbers of Bikers
Drivers shouldn’t place the entire burden on the cyclist. In recent years, the number of cyclists has increased and so should the vigilance levels among vehicle drivers. When a car and a bike collide, the bike always comes out the loser and the bicyclist often suffers serious injury or death.
Injured Bicyclists May Recover Significant Damages
Lives can change in an instant due to a bicycle crash. Crash victims can be killed or laid up for months while they recuperate. Medical expenses can pile up. Victims often are unable to work. The financial and emotional costs can be staggering. In many instances, victims may be able to recover significant damages, including money for pain and suffering.
The injury lawyers at Bottaro Law Firm have years of experience representing those who suffer from the effects of a bicycle or auto crash. They also have the resources to investigate the accident and fight to protect your legal rights. We will pursue your case at no cost until we win. We don’t get paid unless we help you recover. Remember that delay can harm your case. Our experienced legal team is available 24/7 for a free consultation. Give us a call at 866-529-9700, or complete our convenient online contact form.