Driving a car, even safely, is a dangerous activity. A single car accident can result in not only serious and sometimes permanent injury but death. Public roads are increasingly being used by non-motorized vehicles who must share the road with tons of metal and plastic speeding by them at high speeds. With no crash cage, air bag or tons of metal protecting them, bicyclists face the real possibility of injury or death each time they take to the streets for a ride.
A bicyclist is recovering after having his leg trapped under a garbage truck for over 30 minutes. The incident happened in Boston on a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue that has seen more than its fair share of accidents involving cyclists. The truck accident occurred when a garbage truck made a right hand turn and the cyclist was dragged under its back wheel. The garbage truck was equipped with side guards that are supposed to prevent people from falling underneath the vehicle and being run over. No charges have been filed although the police are still conducting their investigation.
Massachusetts is one state that specifically addresses the interactions of drivers and bicyclists. In Massachusetts, drivers are required to let a bicyclist pass before they make a right turn as well as yielding to cyclists before making a left hand turn. These laws were created to prevent accidents created by "right hooks" where a driver cuts off a bicyclist by making an abrupt right hand turn after passing them.
Like driving a car, riding a bicycle on a public road is not always a 100 percent safe activity. Even with all the dangers, there are steps drivers can take to make using the roads a little safer for all.
Source: The Boston Globe, "Bicyclist dragged by garbage truck in South End," Oliver Ortega, July 29, 2014