With Wary Eye On Big Trucks, Bike Riders Seek Safe Space on City Streets.

Bicycle accidents can cause severe pain and suffering, and even death. Some of the worst bicycle accidents involve trucks. If a bicyclist is injured in a truck accident, he or she may be entitled to money damages for any pain and suffering that is caused. If a victim dies in a bicycle accident, his or her survivors may also be entitled to collect money damages for pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and lost wages. Liability is often caused by the negligence of the driver, although there can sometimes be contributory negligence of the bicyclist, as well. A truck driver and a bicyclist alike have a duty to exercise reasonable care toward all others sharing the road. If this duty is breached, the victim of the breach may be entitled to damages.

In 2014, Philip Geeck was riding his bicycle on a busy New Orleans, Louisiana street in a marked bike lane. While waiting at a traffic light, he stopped alongside a tractor-trailer. Suddenly, without signaling, the truck began to turn right. Geeck was pulled underneath the truck, his head was crushed, and his leg was severed from his body. He died immediately.

Although trucks are a small percentage of the vehicles on the road, they are disproportionately involved in or responsible for bicycle accidents. For example, in New York City, trucks account for 3.6 percent of all vehicles on the road. However, they were involved in 32 percent of all crashes that killed bicyclists from 1996 to 2003. According to experts at the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, the situation is only going to get worse. With the rise of e-commerce, experts expect a greater number of trucks on urban road. However, this coincides with a call for more people to walk and ride bicycles in urban areas. The results could be tragic if more reforms are not put in place.

According to Fair Warning, safety advocates call for such things as better training for truck drivers, improved design of roadways, restrictions on the size of trucks allowed in urban areas, and tougher penalties for drivers involved in these fatal accidents.There is also a call to install truck side guards on all trucks, which would prevent bicyclists from getting pulled under trucks. In May 2015, the city of Boston issued a new ordinance requiring these side guards to be installed on many large city-owned and city-contracted trucks.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or death as the result of a bicycle accident or a truck accident, please call 617-787-3700 now to speak with one of our expert Massachusetts bicycle accident lawyers or email us at info@gilhoylaw.com.

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