Articles Tagged with “bicycle accident lawyers”

Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to participate in Boston’s Bike to Work Festival on May 18, 2018. The City of Boston organizes this event each year to encourage and celebrate cycling. Cyclists can ride right into City Hall Plaza and enjoy a free breakfast and vendor tables. Our attorneys have participated in this event for the past few years and it’s always a fun way to close out Bay State Bike Week and Bike Month. This year, we set up our Project KidSafe tent and fit 70 free bicycle helmets for cyclists who needed one.

If you missed this year’s event, you can learn more on the City of Boston’s website. Read more about our Project KidSafe campaign on our website.

Here are a few photos from the event:

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Breakstone, White & Gluck has completed its 2016 Project KidSafe campaign, donating nearly 5,000 helmets to children in Massachusetts this year. With help from local bicycle committees, police departments, schools and community groups, we have now donated more than 10,000 bicycle helmets over four years to help children ride safely.

Our partners, Marc L. Breakstone, David W. White and Ronald E. Gluck, thank everyone who has helped us and embraced our goal: to keep children and families safe and encourage them to wear a helmet every time they ride to prevent serious head injuries.

Read More About Our 2016 Donations:
2016 Project KidSafe Campaign Wrap-Up
2016 Local Bicycle Committee Donations
2016 Police Department Donations
2016 School Donations

Our Partners:
Boston Bikes, Roll It Forward
CYCLE Kids
Bikes Not Bombs
Arlington iCan Shine Camp
Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee
Ashland Farmers Market
Bicyclecentro of East Boston
Bike Milton
Commonwheels Bicycle Collective
Dedham Bike Rodeo
East Arlington Livable Streets Coalition
Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition
Framingham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Friends of Lexington Bikeways
Groundwork Somerville
Haynes Early Education Center in Roxbury
Massachusetts Safe Routes to School
Northbridge Public Schools
Somerville Kiwanis Club
Somerville Public Schools
The Home for Little Wanderers
Tierney Learning Center of South Boston
Up Academy Dorchester
Watertown Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee
Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Westwood Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Committee
Windsor Street Care Center of Cambridge
Worcester Earn-a-Bike

Our Police Department Partners:
Cambridge Police
Dedham Police
Everett Police
Randolph Police
Norwood Police
Waltham Police
Marlborough Police
Malden Police
Tewksbury Police
Somerville Police
Framingham Police
Lexington Police

Cycling Clubs and Bicycle Organizations:
We were also pleased to support safe riding in other ways, by sponsoring the Boston Cyclists Union, MassBike, Northeast Bicycle Club, Charles River Wheelmen, New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA), CYCLE Kids and Bikes Not Bombs. We are also sponsoring the Boston Bikes #BeBrilliant campaign again in 2016.

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milton-2016-2Breakstone, White & Gluck cares about bicycle safety in Boston and across Massachusetts. Over the past four years, our attorneys have donated brand-new bicycle helmets to children who need one through our Project KidSafe campaign.

Wearing a helmet is the most effective step a cyclist can take to prevent a brain injury in a car accident or fall on a bicycle. While important for all cyclists, wearing a helmet is especially important for children, who are still growing and in development.

Breakstone, White & Gluck is nearing the end of the fourth year of our Project KidSafe campaign. Since 2013, our campaign has donated over 10,000 new bicycle helmets to children who needed one. Along the way, over 40 community groups, bicycles safety organizations, police departments and schools have pitched in to help us protect children. Many of these groups help us year in and year out.

cyclist-pedestrians.jpgSafety for pedestrians and drivers was in the spotlight this winter, as Boston endured a record snow fall and everyone stood divided by the tallest of snowbanks. Now, as the snow starts to melt, cyclists are back out too and we want to take a moment to share a few safety reminders.

Safety was a priority this winter because Massachusetts saw many car accidents, even though state officials called multiple snow emergencies, and many schools closed, to keep the roads clear. We also saw at least two fatal pedestrian accidents. In Weymouth, a woman was hit and killed by a snow plow as she walked in the parking lot of her condominium complex. A 60-year-old employee at a Medford Whole Foods store also was killed, hit by a snow plow in the parking lot, leaving after his work shift.

Safety advocates made progress on protecting cyclists and pedestrians in 2014. This will serve as a strong foundation as we dig out from this harsh winter. In Boston, the city has implemented a truck safety ordinance, requiring that city-contracted trucks use sideguards and other protections aimed at protecting pedestrians and cyclists.

MassBike and other safety advocacy groups have also proposed new legislation which may get attention after this hard winter. If passed, the Bike Lane Protection Bill would make it illegal to block established bike lanes. The Vulnerable Road Users Bill would define pedestrians, cyclists, emergency personal and others as vulnerable road users and define a safe-passing distance for them.

Here are a few safety tips and facts to remember for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers:

Pedestrians

  • Pedestrian accidents are too common. On average, in 2013, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • Walk on the sidewalks whenever possible. If a street only has sidewalks on one side, cross over.
  • If you have to walk on the street, walk so you are facing oncoming motor vehicle traffic. Walk as close as you can to the curb to increase the space between you and traffic.
  • Use crosswalks whenever they are available.
  • Limit use of cell phones, iPods and music players.
  • A common misperception is most pedestrian accidents happen at intersections. That is not true. Some 69 percent of pedestrian accidents occurred at non-intersections in 2013, according to the NHTSA.
  • Some 10 percent of pedestrian accidents happened off the road, in areas such as parking lanes/zones, bicycle lanes, shoulders/roadsides, driveway access and similar areas.
  • In the Spring of 2013, most pedestrian fatalities, 25 percent, occurred between 9 to 11:59 p.m., according to the NHTSA. Another 22 percent occurred between 6 to 8:59 p.m.
  • If you walk at night, purchase a neon glow vest so you stand out to traffic. Even if you never wear it, it pays to be prepared.

Bicyclists

  • Wear a bike helmet which meets the safety standard of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and properly fits.
  • Cyclists follow different rules than pedestrians. Go with the flow of traffic, traveling in the same direction as cars, on the right side of the road. Up to two cyclists can ride in the middle of the traffic lane abreast if necessary to stay safe, but you should move back onto the side of the road single file when you can safely do so.
  • State law prohibits biking on sidewalks in business districts. Not every city and town has a designated business district. But assume you are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk or ask the local police department for guidance.
  • Cyclists must use hand signals to communicate to drivers, unless it would be unsafe to do so. You can view this video to learn the proper hand signals. Cyclists should also use a bell to let pedestrians know they are approaching.
  • Watch out for dooring. This is when a car parks and the driver opens their door and hits you as you pass through. It is against the law, but it happens often.
  • You are required to use a white headlight and red taillight or rear reflector if you ride anytime from a half hour after sunset until a half hour before sunrise.
  • If you ride at night, consider purchasing a neon safety vest or clothing so you are more visible drivers..
  • If you are involved in a bicycle accident, file a police report, even if you do not think you are seriously injured at first.
  • Many drivers may not stop after cycling accidents. If you are hit and the driver does not stop, immediately contact police and file a police report.

Motor Vehicle Drivers

  • Look for cyclists and pedestrians at every intersection and yield to them.
  • Drivers must pass bicyclists at a safe distance. If you cannot, you must wait until it is safe to do so or change lanes.
  • Obey all traffic laws and signals. Look for areas designated as school zones. Reduce your speed and take extra care on these roads.
  • Do not park in bike lanes.
  • Do not use your cell phone in the car. It is against the law in Massachusetts for drivers to text and drive, but the best practice is not to use it for telephone calls or other reasons either. It only takes a few seconds to cause a distracted driving car accident.
  • A very dangerous practice is dooring. This is when a driver parks their car and opens the door without looking and hits an oncoming cyclist. It is against the law and violators can be fined. But drivers may also face a steeper penalty, a personal injury lawsuit, because cyclists can be seriously injured and the injuries can require months of recovery and hospital bills.

More Cycling Safety Resources

These are just a few rules of the road. To learn more, visit:

Shifting Gears: Bicyclists and Public Safety. Produced by MassBike, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Boston Police Department.

Bike Safety in Massachusetts, Breakstone, White & Gluck.

What Every Massachusetts Bicyclist Needs to Know About Car Insurance, Breakstone, White & Gluck.

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Mayor Marty Walsh is proposing a new safety ordinance for city-contracted trucks in Boston, a measure being widely watched after several cyclists have died in truck crashes. It is believed to be the first such ordinance in the nation.

Walsh, who took office in January, submitted an Ordinance to Protect Vulnerable Road Users to the Boston City Council earlier this week. The City Council was expected to take it up today in session.

If passed, the ordinance will require side guards, convex mirrors, cross-over mirrors, and blind-spot awareness decals on all vehicles over 10,000 pounds which are contracted with the city. The goal is to prevent truck accidents by giving drivers a better view around them. When trucks do not comply, fines start at $100 for the first offense and contracts can ultimately be terminated.

The Boston Cyclists Union called for these measures after a cyclist was killed in a Charlestown truck accident in April. It has released a fact sheet, “Safeguards Saves Lives.” According to the fact sheet, 4 percent of vehicles in the U.S. are trucks though they cause 11 percent of all bicyclist fatalities and 7 percent of all pedestrian fatalities.

Since 2010, 11 cyclists in Boston have died as a result of motor vehicle crashes, according to figures cited by Boston Magazine. Seven cases involved trucks. Here is another concerning figure: From 2009 to 2012, there were 1,700 confirmed cyclist incidents documented by Boston EMS emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

The City of Boston has been working on truck safety. Last year, the city began a pilot program, the largest in the nation. The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and the city’s Public Works Department tested three different types of guards on 16 active vehicles driving the streets.

In April, the National Traffic Safety Board made similar recommendations to prevent tractor-trailer accidents.
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worcester-earnabike-200.jpgThis spring, Breakstone, White & Gluck donated bike helmets to children in several Massachusetts communities, including Boston, Arlington, Framingham, Westborough, Worcester and Lexington. We write about two events here.

Worcester Earn-a-Bike. On May 31, attorney David White pitched in at the Worcester Earn-a-Bike’s 4th Annual Kids Bike Sale. Worcester Earn-a-Bike is a community program which teaches fun and affordable bike repair to neighborhood youth and community members. It operates a bike shop which repaired many of the bikes on sale.

At the sale, families got to purchase refurbished bikes for children for just $5! We donated helmets to children who needed one at the sale. Visit the Worcester Earn-a-Bike website to learn more about their work.

lexington-boys-200.jpgFriends of Lexington Bikeways. On May 24, we donated bike helmets to children through the Friends of Lexington Bikeways and Discovery Day in Lexington.

If you live in Lexington, you are probably familiar with the Friends, who work to preserve and maintain the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway and other shared use paths. They work closely with the Lexington Bicycle Advisory Committee and each winter, they clear the bikeway of snow for cyclists, cross country skiers and others.

By the way, congratulations to the Friends, the Lexington Bicycle Advisory Committee and the Town of Lexington!

In May, the League of American Bicyclists recognized Lexington as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community. The League has recognized 303 bicycle friendly communities in the U.S. Massachusetts now has seven communities on the list, including Lexington, Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Newton, Arlington and Northampton.

Lexington’s application was coordinated by Bicycle Advisory Committee chair Peggy Enders, who also coordinated our donation to the Friends of Lexington Bikeways. Read what she told the Lexington Patch about town’s new recognition.

Visit the Friends of Lexington Bikeways’ website to learn more about their work.

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Attorney David White was recognized for his contributions to Boston’s cycling community at last night’s 6th Annual Boston Bike Update, which was held in the historic Faneuil Hall in Boston.

White, an attorney at Breakstone, White & Gluck, received the Volunteer of the Year award from Boston Bikes, the city office which oversees the growth of safety infrastructure, the Hubway bike share facilities, and programs for youth and low-income residents. White was honored alongside Bikes Not Bombs of Jamaica Plain, which received the Organization of the Year award. Jon Ramos was named Rookie Advocate of the Year and Vineet Gupta was Unsung Hero of the Year.

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Photo credit: LivableStreets/www.livablestreets.info. Attorney David W. White of Breakstone, White & Gluck and Nicole Freedman, Director of Boston Bikes, during the 6th Annual Boston Bike Update at Faneuil Hall.

Jenny Duquette, Community Cycling Program Manager, introduced White:

“Our Volunteer of the Year is a former president of the Massachusetts Bar Association and a trial lawyer at Breakstone, White, & Gluck, which donated 160 helmets to Roll It Forward in 2013.”

“Like any superstar volunteer, he wanted to have an impact, so last year he volunteered at several bike giveaways as our helmet station guru – getting the kids excited about their new helmets, while making sure they got a helmet that actually fit! This year, his firm is donating helmets, locks, and light sets.”

Boston Bikes and Roll It Forward
Roll It Forward collects, repairs and distributes bikes to low-income Boston residents who might not otherwise have access to one. The program’s goal is to promote a healthier lifestyle with increased physical activity and fewer trips by car. As of January 2014, the program had distributed 2,728 bicycles. It plans to donate 850 more in 2014. In one very busy two-year period, the city’s youth cycling program gave safety classes to over 7,770 youth.

Former Mayor Thomas Menino established Boston Bikes in 2007 by hiring transportation planner and former Olympic cyclist Nicole Freedman. At that time, Boston only had 60 yards of bike lanes and was frequently cited as the worst city in the country for cyclists.

Today, the city has 60 miles of bike lanes. Boston Bikes is working to expand the network by adding a variety of new bike lanes, including new cycletracks, which will put a barrier between bike lanes and cars. The Hubway program, which launched in July 2011, continues to grow with more bike stations in Boston as well as Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline. And the program strongly encourages use of helmets, by asking riders to agree to wear helmets in the Hubway contracts, partnering with businesses to offer subsidized helmets and opening the first-in-the-nation helmet vending machine in Back Bay.

Related:
Watch the Boston Bike Update.

Read more about Boston Bikes.

View Facebook photos of the 6th Annual Boston Bike Update.
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