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Boston Fatal Accident Underscores Dangers Facing Cyclists

A fatal bicycle accident in downtown Boston in late January killed a 74-year-old man. While the cause of the accident between the bicycle and the car is unknown at this time, bicycle advocates used this accident as an opportunity to again request a citywide 20 mph speed limit.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Arlington Street and Tremont Street at approximately 8:10 a.m. on January 24. While the bicyclist was transported to the local hospital following the car crash, hewas pronounced dead upon arrival at Boston Medical Center. According to Boston Police, the cause of the car and bicycle accident is still under investigation.

The accident prompted the Boston Cyclists Union to repeat their request for a citywide 20 mph speed limit. According to the director of the union, a British study found that car accidents are less likely to be fatal to bicyclists when the driver is traveling under 20 mph. When driving 30 mph, the accident is likely to be fatal to the bicyclists 45 percent of the time; the fatality rate dropped to 5 percent when the driver is only traveling 20 mph.

Although the crash investigation is not yet complete, many Boston bicyclists know how dangerous it can be to share the road with cars. Drivers are often unaware of bicyclists; failure to use proper caution or put down electronic devices often results in serious and fatal injuries to bicyclists.

An at-fault driver who does not exercise care on the road and causes a bicycle accident can be held responsible for the crash. A personal injury suit may provide compensation for the injuries sustained, medical bills and lost wages. The family of a victim killed in a bicycle accident may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver to hold the driver responsible for his or her reckless actions.

Source: Boston Globe (online) "Bicyclist, 74, Killed in Downtown Boston Crash"

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