Recent Boston Cyclist Death Raises Important Safety Concerns
The tragic death of a beloved cyclist and member of the Boston community sheds light on how dangerous Boston streets are for cyclists and pedestrians. Last month Paula Sharaga, who was a children’s librarian at the Coolidge Corner Library and an avid cyclist, was tragically killed by a cement truck that crashed into her when she was crossing an intersection at Park Drive and Brookline Avenue.
Members of the Boston cyclist community held a memorial where Sharaga lost her life, leaving behind a woman’s bike painted in white, a symbol of a ghost bike. The symbol demonstrates how cycling on Boston streets can be fatal, tragically cutting a life short in mere seconds.
Cyclist Community Calls for More Comprehensive Action to Reduce Accidents, Save Lives
According to WGBH, there have been nearly 200 pedestrian crashes on the streets leading up to that intersection and nearly 30 crashes requiring emergency attention near the intersection since 2015.
Cyclists are calling for stricter laws to help protect bike riders at dangerous intersections in Boston. Although several Vision Zero Boston initiatives have been implemented to help save lives, including reducing the speed limit to 20mph in residential streets and accepting a few “Neighborhood Slow Streets” applications, but this is not enough to address the dangers cyclists face every day.
Cyclist and Pedestrian Accident and Fatality Statistics
- There were 425 cyclist incidents that resulted in a response from Boston Emergency Medical Services in 2018.
- There were 683 pedestrian incidents that resulted in a response from Boston Emergency Medical Services in 2018.
- In 2018, there were 70 pedestrian fatalities in Massachusetts.
- In 2018, there were 6 cyclist fatalities in Massachusetts.
The statistics are alarming and demonstrate that more needs to be done to protect cyclists and pedestrians alike in Boston and throughout Massachusetts. Boston streets are notorious for being dangerous to drive on, yet with proper precautions, lives should not be taken.
Tips for Drivers to Share the Road with Cyclists
- Stay Alert – Cyclists can be difficult to see, therefore be sure to stay alert and survey the area for bicyclists, especially at intersections and when making turns.
- Don’t Veer into a Bike Lane – Bike lanes are for bikes only and cars must keep these lanes clear.
- Don’t Speed – Make sure to keep 3-4 feet between you and a cyclist and slow done when you see them approaching.
- Look Out Before Opening a Car Door– Be careful when opening car doors on the street, look in your rearview mirror and to the sides before opening the door.
- Always Use Your Signals – Use your turn signals to warn other cars and cyclists of when you will turn and keep on the lookout for cyclist signals.
- Avoid Using Your Phone – Phones are a major cause of distracted driving. Put your phone down and focus on driving and keeping your eyes on the road.
Check out our important tips for bicyclist safety in our past blog here.
We Can Help
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident through no fault of your own, call the experienced Boston Bicycle Accident Attorneys at Attorney Injury Group for help.
Call us today at 617-934-7000 for a FREE, confidential consultation. When you call our experienced Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyers, we will investigate every detail of your accident at no cost to you. At Attorney Injury Group, you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front and we don’t get paid until you do. Call today to learn how we may be able to help
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