In December 2011, a 23-year-old bicyclist died following a fatal collision with an oil tanker in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The driver of the eighteen-wheeler was making a right-hand turn when he struck the cyclist leaving the bicycle pinned and stuck under the wheel of the truck. Authorities stated that the same intersection has had 27 accidents since January 2010.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bicycle accidents resulted in 630 deaths and 51,000 injuries in 2009. Six of the deaths in 2009 occurred in Massachusetts.
Cyclists face dangerous and potentially life-threatening conditions sharing the road with motorized vehicles, especially those that are the size of the eighteen-wheeler involved in the Massachusetts accident.
Following Several Safety Tips Can Help Prevent Accidents
In order to maintain their own safety on the Worcester roads, it is important for cyclists to wear a helmet and follow the law. However, in addition to these two safety tactics, it is also important for bicyclists to be aware of the most common risks and ways that accidents occur.
The following are some of the most common risks to bicyclists and ways that accidents often occur between a motorized vehicle and a bicycle:
- Intersection collisions – cars pulling into an intersection may not see a bicycle
- Parked cars – drivers and passengers often open their doors without looking for bicyclists approaching from behind
- Traffic lights – drivers stopped at a red light may not see the bicyclist and crash into the bicycle while turning right
The above risks to bicyclists suggest that it is very important for cyclists to pay attention to their surroundings. Cyclists should be aware of the vehicles driving around them and be cognizant of the fact that motorists may not realize their presence on the road.
Source: Boston Herald, “Cyclist killed in Cambridge accident ID’d,” Colneth Smiley, Jr. Dec. 29, 2011