A Massachusetts man was struck by a public transit bus while riding his bicycle earlier this week, according to police reports. The man, age 47, was riding his bike across Washington Federal Street in Salem at about 7:00 a.m. when he was involved in the bus accident, say police officials.
The man reportedly sustained multiple traumatic injuries, and he was transported to an area hospital for treatment. After a medical assessment, he was transported by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital with injuries that were potentially life-threatening. On Monday morning, the man was still believed to be in critical condition.
No bus passengers were injured, and the driver also remained safe, according to transit spokespeople. The accident is still under investigation by both transit officials and police officers. A trooper has been assigned to the case from the commercial vehicle enforcement division, according to local officials.
Massachusetts has a higher bicycle accident fatality rate compared to the national average. In Massachusetts, the fatality rate is 2.8 percent while the national average is 1.9 percent. Despite this, bicycle fatalities seem to be falling since 2005, though many accidents still occur in the state’s urban centers.
Most bicyclists who are killed or injured in road accidents are between the ages of 45 and 64, according to statewide statistics. Children age 5 to 9 seem to have the lowest fatality rates.
These numbers have led lawmakers to propose a variety of studies and initiatives to protect bicyclists from errant motorists. These have included helmet programs, professional conferences and grant awards to those who have identified and addressed pedestrian and bicyclist safety problems.
Sources: Boston Herald, “MBTA bus hits man on bike in Salem,” Matt Stout, April 9, 2012; Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “Highway Safety Performance Plan,” staff reports, 2011