Portland, ME (PRWEB) July 04, 2013
A recent fatal bicycle accident on Route 2 in Hanover illustrates why Maine officials were wise to update the state’s bicycle safety laws, according to Maine bicycle accident lawyer Joe Bornstein of the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein.
According to a report in the Portland Press Herald on June 27 titled “Maine cyclist’s death shows risks of draft from big vehicles,” a 23-year-old man died after he was probably knocked off balance by the air turbulence from a passing tractor-trailer.
“We were saddened to hear about the recent death of the cyclist,” said Bornstein, whose law firm represents people seriously injured in accidents and families who lost loved ones in accidents.
“On the day the young man died, lawmakers passed a law that may help prevent future tragedies,” Bornstein added. “The new state law is aimed at protecting the rights and safety of cyclists throughout Maine. The more that can be done to safeguard cyclists, the better. Bicycles are no match for cars or trucks or even motorcycles. When accidents happen, injuries are often very serious or fatal. That’s why cyclists deserve all the legal protection they can get.”
The fatal bicycle accident occurred on Route 2 in Oxford, Maine, at around 8:45 a.m. on June 14, according to the Portland Press Herald (June 15, 2013, “Trek Across Maine bicyclist killed by tractor-trailer”). The accident occurred as part of the annual Trek Across Maine, a three-day charity bike ride held to raise money for the American Lung Association, according to the Press Herald.
The cyclist, David LeClair, 23, of Watertown, Mass., was killed almost instantly when he reportedly lost control of his bicycle after a tractor-trailer drove past LeClair, who was drinking water and holding his bicycle handlebars with one hand when the accident occurred. According to the Press Herald, a preliminary investigation by the Maine State Police revealed that the possible cause of the accident was the draft created by the truck. Cyclists quoted by the Press Herald said the turbulence can be intense for riders.
The tractor-trailer reportedly left enough distance between the truck and bicycle, the Portland Press Herald reported. Specifically, witnesses told police there was about four feet between the truck and the cyclist. State law requires passing motorists to leave a minimum of three feet between a vehicle and a bicycle, the Portland Press Herald reported.
The new law clarifies many of the rules of the road concerning bicycles, said Attorney Bornstein. Among other things, the law establishes that a collision between a bike and a passing car is evidence that the 3-foot buffer zone motorists are required to leave next to cyclists was violated, Bornstein said.
Furthermore, the new law grants cyclists the right to use the travel lane in the road if the shoulder of the road is not in safe condition to ride, Bornstein explained. In addition, drivers can only turn in front of bicycles if “that does not interfere with the safe and legal operation of the bicycle,” the new law states.
Maine bicycle accident attorney Bornstein said he hopes lawmakers take additional steps in the future to protect bicycle riders in Maine.
“This is a clear step in the right direction,” Bornstein said. “Cyclists have just as much right to use the road as everyone else. People throughout the country come to Maine because of our beautiful, scenic roads. Hopefully, this law will protect cyclists and everyone who shares the road with them from being involved in a serious bicycle accident or car accident. As personal injury lawyers, we deal with too many of these accidents. We know firsthand how devastating they can be for families.”
About the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein
Established in 1974, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein has helped more than 19,000 Mainers collect more than $200 million in settlements and benefits. This full-service, personal injury law firm has six offices in Maine: Portland, Augusta, Bangor, Biddeford, Lewiston and Sanford. Our areas of practice include auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, Social Security disability cases, medical malpractice, wrongful death and dangerous drugs. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. As a result, clients only pay for services if they win.
The main office for the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein is located at 5 Moulton St., Portland, ME 04101. To schedule a free case evaluation or for more information, call (877) 294-6813 or visit our website at http://www.joebornstein.com/