Our Boston accident lawyers know that bicycle crashes can be very dangerous for riders and that serious injuries or fatalities are common when a crash occurs. With their health and safety at stake, Boston bike riders and bicycle safety advocates were excited at first about the news that an expansive report on bike crashes was scheduled for release.
Unfortunately, after the study came out, bike advocates turned out to be less than enthusiastic about the steps that the city might take as a result of the findings. Advocates also pointed out errors in the study, which were later acknowledged. Still, despite the problems, the report may prove to be a positive when it comes to increasing bike safety because it gives officials data they need to make targeted improvements tailored to each street and each intersection.
Boston Study on Bicycle Crashes Reveals Important Info
According to the Boston Globe, the mayor recently commissioned a study that involved the collection and analysis of data from the Boston police, Boston Bikes and Boston Emergency Medical Services. The purpose of the study was to learn more about bike accident risks, especially in light of the fact that the number of bike crashes in Boston rose from 2010 to 2012.
The report revealed some important facts, including that ridership was on the rise and that the number of bicyclists had risen more sharply than the slight increase in bike accidents from 2010 to 2012. The report also identified top causes of bike crash incidents by looking at 891 wrecks between 2009 and 2012. According to the information revealed in the report:
- 197 bicycle accidents occurred because the driver and bicycle riders did not see each other.
- 197 bicycle accidents were attributed to a vehicle door opening up in the path of a bicycle rider.
- 147 of the bike wrecks occurred when a stop sign or red light was run.
- 108 accidents happened when the bicycle rider rode into oncoming traffic.
- Speeding was a contributing cause in 81 crashes.
- A failure to pay attention was cited as a cause of 58 accidents.
- Aggressive behavior was involved in causing 57 accidents.
- Phones and electronics were being used at the time of 16 crashes.
- Four of the accidents may have occurred, at least in part, because there was a construction zone.
Knowing this information can help lawmakers and regulators to learn more about where to focus efforts, including educating drivers about the risks of opening the door into the path of oncoming bicycle riders.
Despite the helpful data, though, not everyone was thrilled with the report. The director of the Boston Cyclists Union and a consultant on the report commented that errors were made and that it was important that the mistakes be corrected.
Bike advocates were primarily concerned with the fact that the report largely seemed to blame the victim, focusing on a lack of helmet use among bike riders and initially blaming 28 percent of the crashes on bicycle riders going through red lights or stop signs when in reality a cyclist was responsible for colliding after running a traffic signal in only 12 percent of cases. These percentages have been corrected.
Still, while there may be problems with the report, now that the data has been updated it can shed some light on how lawmakers and regulators can work to make Boston’s roads safer for bicyclists.
If you’ve been hurt, call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone.