We have previously written on this blog about the increase in cycling accidents nationwide and statewide in recent years, as well as some of the potential causes for the increase. Among these causes, we mentioned the increase in the popularity of cycling, as well as the lack of infrastructure supporting safe cycling.
In Boston, a new city ordinance aims at addressing at least one cause of serious injuries and fatalities among cyclists: crashes with heavy vehicles with significant blind spots, including city-contracted trucks. Under the new ordinance, vehicles over 10,000 pounds are now required to install side guards to protect cyclists from being crushed when a crash occurs. Because side guards are relatively low-cost and can help save lives, they are just another way cycling fatalities can be reduced without a lot of trouble.
Sources said that during a pilot program testing the guards, a cyclist who collided with a city garbage truck reportedly escaped with his life. The new ordinance will reportedly not go into effect for another 6 months.
Cyclists, along with pedestrians, are the most vulnerable individuals on the road, and motorists have the duty to ensure they exercise reasonable caution in sharing the road with them. Unfortunately, motorists don’t always give cyclists the roadway recognition they are due under the law and this can result in serious, or even fatal, injuries. Those who have been affected by the negligence or recklessness of a motorist need to understand their legal rights and work with an experienced attorney in seeking appropriate compensation.
Source: Boston.com, “How Boston Is Protecting Cyclists, One Truck at a Time,” Shannon McMahon, October 29, 2014.