Articles Tagged with “bicycle accidents”

mother fits daughter's bike helmetBoston saw 70 degrees in February last week. Naturally, many of us are now ready for Spring. If you are a cyclist or have a child who rides, now is the time to get ready for a safe cycling season.

The attorneys of Breakstone, White & Gluck have long represented cyclists who have been injured by negligent drivers in Massachusetts. We are committed to preventing these bicycle accidents and reducing injuries. In a few weeks, we will begin the 6th year of our Project KidSafe campaign, donating bicycle helmets to children in Boston and other communities. Bike helmets are critical to preventing concussions and traumatic brain injuries. And they are most effective when cyclists start wearing them at an early age with positive reinforcement from parents and other family members.

We will share more on our campaign soon. For now, we have a few bike safety tips from our attorneys and the League of American Bicyclists to help you get ready for a safe cycling season.

Cyclists riding through Inman Square now have a safer ride home. The City of Cambridge has recently installed separated bicycle lanes on Cambridge Street, from Inman Square to Quincy Street. The lanes are clearly marked, with flex posts creating a barrier between cyclists and drivers.

These lanes should have many benefits. We hope one is to reduce dooring crashes, such as the one that killed Amanda Phillips in Inman Square in 2016. The 27-year-old Somerville resident was riding a bike and collided into a Jeep door which was left open. The impact pushed her into the travel lane, where she was hit and killed by a landscaping truck. The accident happened near Hampshire and Cambridge streets.

Dooring has been against the law in Massachusetts since 2009. M.G.L. c.90 § 14 states, “no person shall open a door on a motor vehicle unless it is reasonably safe to do so without interfering with the movement of other traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians.”

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Quincy police officers and kids wearing bike helmets

Photo Courtesy: Quincy Police Department Facebook Page. Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign recently teamed up with Quincy Police to donate 100 bike helmets to fifth graders.

On a bike, wearing a helmet is the most important step, Quincy police officers said yesterday.

Breakstone, White & Gluck and the Quincy Police Department teamed up to give away 100 new bike helmets on Monday, during the department’s annual D.A.R.E camp at Pageant Field. But first, Lieutenant Bina and other bike safety officers shared tips for riding safely.

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Attorney David W. White (center) with William G. Gross, Superintendent-in-Chief of the Boston Police Department (left) and Sgt. Gino Provenzano (right) of the Boston Police Department. Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate 200 bike helmets to the Boston Police Department this summer to help kids ride safely.

Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign are proud to partner with the Boston Police Department to keep children safe on bikes.

Our attorneys recently donated 200 brand-new bicycle helmets to the Boston Police Department. Over the summer, officers will give helmets away to children who need one as part of the department’s community policing efforts. So far, officers have put new helmets on children at the Villa Victoria Bicycle Safety Day, the Dorchester/C-11 Bike Rodeo and at the Condon Community Center in South Boston. These events are meaningful because kids get more than a new helmet. They get the opportunity to learn about bike safety and meet a police officer in their own neighborhood in a fun, relaxed setting, building trust and community relationships while learning how to ride safely and protect themselves from head injuries.

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Attorney David W. White and the Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission donated bike helmets to kids at Westborough Spring Festival on June 10th. Helmets were donated by Breakstone, White & Gluck’s Project KidSafe campaign.

Summer is here and Breakstone, White & Gluck wants to remind children and families to wear your bicycle helmets.

Helmets are the most effective way to protect yourself from bicycle-related head injuries.  Helmet use reduces the chance for head and brain injuries by up to 88 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please wear your helmet every time you ride – and make sure family members do the same.

Through our Project KidSafe campaign, Breakstone, White & Gluck recently donated children’s bicycle helmets at several community events. Children had the opportunity to receive a new helmet and have it fitted by an experienced cyclist or volunteer.

Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission. Attorney David W. White joined the Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission at Spring Festival on June 10. Breakstone, White & Gluck donated nearly 200 bicycle helmets in Westborough this year, at the Westborough Spring Festival and the Healthy Kids Day at the Boroughs Family Branch of the YMCA of Central Massachusetts (which was held in April). This is the fourth year we have partnered with the Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission on these donations.

The Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission was appointed by the Board of Selectmen five years ago. Since then, the commission has actively worked to make Westborough safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Over the past few years, they have advocated for crosswalk and rotary improvements. This year, construction began on the new Westborough multi-use path. The first phase is 1/3 mile and will connect the Westborough Shopping Center to the east side of town. Great work to the commission! This path is sure to make cycling safer in Westborough.

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Medford-2017

Photo courtesy of Medford Bikes, which distributed 70 bike helmets to children at Medford Day on June 4, 2017. Breakstone, White & Gluck donated the bike helmets through our Project KidSafe campaign.

Medford Day. On June 4, the Medford Bicycle Advisory Commission gave away 70 helmets to children and teens at Medford Day at Andrews Middle School. This was our first time partnering with the commission. It was a home run. Members did a great job and are enthusiastic about teaching children and parents about bike helmet use.

“A helmet is one of the most important pieces of bike safety equipment you can wear, but if it doesn’t fit right, it’s not going to do what it’s designed to do when you most need it—which is protect your head from serious injury after a crash,” said Patrick Bibbins, chair of the Medford Bicycle Advisory Commission.

Bibbins, an instructor with the League of American Cyclists, has written about bicycle safety for families. He recently published this article: “Bike Safety 101: A Guide for Parents.”

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Photo courtesy of The Kiwanis Club of Somerville Facebook page. Bike Safety Day was held on June 10, 2017. Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate helmets for the kids.

Kiwanis Club of Somerville. For the past five years, Breakstone, White & Gluck has been pleased to donate bicycle helmets to the Kiwanis Club of Somerville and its annual Bike Safety Day. This is always a fun event which teaches kids fundamental bicycle safety skills in their own community.

This year’s event was held on June 10th at East Somerville Community School. Breakstone, White & Gluck donated 120 helmets for the kids. In addition to the Kiwanis Club of Somerville and Breakstone, White & Gluck, the event received donations and support from Belmont Wheelworks, Shift Community Bicycle Collective, the Greater Boston Young Professional Kiwanis, the Somerville High School Athletics and the staff at the East Somerville Community School.

View the Facebook photo album.

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Cyclists may now ride safer near parked cars, after a recent update to the Massachusetts driver’s manual. On page 109, there is a new title, “The Danger of Open Doors to Bicyclists,” and instructions for the Dutch Reach method of exiting a car.

A common practice in the Netherlands, the Dutch Reach method calls on drivers to park and take three simple steps:

  • Check your rear-view mirror.
  • Check your side-view mirror.
  • Open the door with your far hand, the hand farthest away from the door.

This last step forces drivers to turn their bodies, so they can see cyclists and pedestrians coming from both directions.

A Cambridge man campaigned for the change, which was announced by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on May 30th. According to The Boston Globe, Michael Charney launched the website dutchreach.org following the death of Amanda Phillips, a 27-year-old barista at Somerville’s Diesel Café. Phillips was riding her bicycle in Inman Square in Cambridge when she struck the open door of a parked Jeep. As a result, Philips was pushed into the street and collided with a dump truck.

This is known as a dooring accident or a car-dooring crash. We have represented numerous cyclists in these accidents, which can cause very serious injuries and are more common than you may realize. According to the City of Boston, dooring accidents accounted for up to 13 percent of all bicycle crashes between 2009 and 2012.

Massachusetts is one of 40 states which have passed dooring laws, according to the League of American Cyclists. Under M.G.L. c. 90 § 14, “No person shall open a door on a motor vehicle unless it is reasonably safe to do so without interfering with the movement of other traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians.”

Drivers can be fined $100 for each violation. But the greater penalty is drivers may have to pay compensation to injured cyclists. Read about a recent settlement we obtained for a cyclist injured in a dooring accident in Brookline.

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Local bicycle committees are the wheels behind our success. As we finish our Project KidSafe campaign, our partners, Marc L. Breakstone, David W. White and Ronald E. Gluck, want to thank all the local bicycle committees who organized community events and helped us donate bicycle helmets to children in 2016. Committee members volunteered their time and fit helmets for children, while also speaking to families about the importance of always wearing a bicycle helmet, every time they ride.

This year, we thank the: Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee; Bike Milton; Framingham Bicycle and Advisory Committee; Friends of Lexington Bikeways; Westwood Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee; Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Watertown Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee. While not bicycle committees, the Kiwanis Club of Somerville, Boston Bikes and the Ashland Farmers Market all deserve mention. Here are some photos from the year or read more about our 2016 Project KidSafe campaign here.

Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee
Read about our children’s bicycle safety donation in Arlington.

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Ashland Farmer’s Market

child wearing a bicycle helmet at the Ashland Farmers Market

Bike Milton
Read about our children’s bicycle safety donation in Milton.

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Framingham Earth Day 2016
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Friends of Lexington Bikeways
Read about our children’s bicycle safety donation in Lexington.

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Kiwanis Club of Somerville
Read about our children’s bicycle safety donation in Somerville.

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Westwood Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee
Read about our children’s bicycle safety donation in Westwood.

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Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Read about our children’s bicycle safety donation in Westborough.

westborough-2-1000px-crop Attorney David White with children sitting on bicycles, wearing bicycle helmets Children riding bicycles and wearing bicycle helmets donated by Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston.

Watertown Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee
Read about our children’s bicycle safety donation in Watertown.

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Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to help students at Groundwork Somerville ride their bicycles safely this summer. As part of our Project KidSafe campaign, our attorneys donated bicycle helmets and neon safety vests to 25 students on The Green Team.

Students wearing bicycle helmets and neon vests in Somerville, Massachusetts.

The Green Team is Groundwork Somerville’s environmental youth employment program, where Somerville youth work to make positive social and environmental change, while gaining valuable job training and career skills. The students spend summers working across the City of Somerville, building gardens, cleaning up rivers and engaging the community about ways to protect the environment and cultivate agricultural and forestry resources. The students rely heavily on their bicycles to travel between sites and bicycle safety is a priority.

Among The Green Team’s projects: developing The South Street Farm near the Cambridge border and participating in the planning of Somerville parks. If you shop at the Union Square Farmer’s Market or the Mystic Mobile Market, you may have bought produce from The Green Team gardens.

Breakstone, White & Gluck is pleased to support Groundwork Somerville. We encourage you to visit their website at www.groundworksomerville.org.

Breakstone, White & Gluck and Project KidSafe in Somerville
Breakstone, White & Gluck is committed to children’s bicycle safety. Over the past four years, our attorneys have donated over 10,000 bicycle helmets to children across Massachusetts through our Project KidSafe campaign. We have partnered with Groundwork Somerville for the past three years, donating helmets and safety vests.

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We have been active in Somerville all four years of our safety campaign, also donating helmets to The Kiwanis Club of Somerville’s Bike Safety Day and helmets to every 5th grader who completes CYCLE Kids, which teaches bicycle riding and nutrition skills. In 2016, we were pleased to donate over 400 children’s bicycle helmets in the city. Read recent coverage in The Somerville Times.

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With a donation from Breakstone, White & Gluck’s Project KidSafe campaign, children at The Home for Little Wanderers are ready for safe riding.

We made a special donation of 100 bicycle helmets to The Home this week, for children and young adults in The Home’s residential and special education programs in Roxbury Crossing, Plymouth and Walpole. The Home serves children and young adults who need family support because of abuse, neglect or other reasons. For more than 200 years, it has filled a critical need in the Boston area, keeping children safe and helping them transition into foster care, adoption or independent living as adults. The Home provides the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing for children, as well as mental health services, counseling, special education and many other services.

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Photo:  Attorney David White stopped at The Home for Little Wanderers this week and delivered bicycle helmets from Breakstone, White & Gluck’s Project KidSafe campaign. He was greeted by (left) Paige Oldaker, Leadership Gifts Officer; Johanna Lauer, Volunteer Mentor; and Taryn Marino, Manager of Volunteer and Mentor Programs. (next to David).

Breakstone, White & Gluck is committed to keeping children safe through our Project KidSafe campaign. Since 2013, our law firm has donated over 10,000 bicycle helmets to children who need one in Massachusetts. Our goal is to encourage children to wear bicycle helmets every time they ride to prevent serious head injuries in bicycle accidents or falls.

We learned about The Home’s need for new helmets from a volunteer. She told us children at The Harrington House in Roxbury Crossing were wearing old and worn-down helmets. Then we learned about the need at the other programs and were told the children and young adults love to ride bikes. We saw an opportunity to help.

“We were very pleased to make this donation, especially since the children really enjoy riding bikes,” Attorney David White said. “The Home for Little Wanderers is a lifeline for many children who have been neglected or abused in Massachusetts. While receiving services, the children should have the opportunity to ride bicycles, play and just be kids for a few minutes each day. We hope with brand-new bicycle helmets, they can ride safely and have a little fun.”

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Attorney David White delivered 100 children’s bicycle helmets to the Everett Police Department earlier this week. He got a warm welcome from Everett Police Captain Richard Basteri, Lt. Mark Zielinski, Officer Joe Gaff, Officer Jeff Gilmore and Detective Jason Leonard. Breakstone, White & Gluck donated the helmets as part of our Project KidSafe campaign to keep children safe while riding their bicycles. Now in our fourth year, we have proudly donated more than 10,000 bicycle helmets to children in the Boston and Worcester areas. This is our first year partnering with the Everett Police Department.

We are excited about this donation because Everett Police have already started giving out helmets to children who need one. The department has very strong community policing programs for youth. Every July, Everett Police run a very popular Junior Police Academy for middle school students. This was the 15th year of the one-week program, which teaches its cadets about training situations through classroom training, hands-on police tactics and daily fitness and marching drills. This year, the cadets also got to visit the Coast Guard station in Boston, Breakheart Reservation and participate in diving operations. The academy is fun for the cadets and they get to consider police work as a career. During the school year, officers have a “Cops Corner” initiative and join high school students for lunch.

Attorney David White with Everett Police Captain Richard Basteri.

Attorney David White delivering new bicycle helmets to Everett Police Captain Richard Basteri on August 24th

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Attorney David White with Everett Police Captain Richard Basteri, Lt. Mark Zielinski, Officer Joe Gaff, Officer Jeff Gilmore and Detective Jason Leonard

Through the academy and other efforts, Everett Police have developed strong relationships with the community. We know officers will be able to put bicycle helmets in the hands of children who need them as we approach Back-to-School.

Video on How to Fit a Bicycle Helmet

If you are a cyclist or are the parent of a cyclist, visit our bicycle safety page. There is a video on the bottom, “Fitting a Bicycle Helmet,” by the National highway Traffic Safety Administration. With Back-to-School coming, now is a good time to check to make sure you have a helmet which properly fits and review the rules of safe bike riding with your family.

Wearing a bicycle helmet is required by law for cyclists under age 16 in Massachusetts. But it makes good sense for all cyclists and if you are a parent, your kids are more likely to wear one if you do as well.

It really is important. According to the bhsi.org website, almost three-quarters of fatal bike crashes involve a head injury. Study after study has shown helmets are the most effective way to prevent brain injuries if children fall or are involved in an bike accident. Through our Project KidSafe campaign, we have worked to prevent these injuries and are thankful for the support of Everett Police.

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