Cycling is a popular aerobic activity that improves your respiratory and cardiovascular health. Riding a bicycle is also an affordable and environmentally-friendly way to commute to work. Because of these benefits, the number of bicycle users on the road increases every year.
When motor vehicles and bicycles share the road, however, accidents are inevitable. Bicycle accident injuries typically include broken bones and soft-tissue damage. But, severe injuries may also include traumatic brain injuries.
If you suffer an injury in a bicycle accident, it can result in a wide range of life-changing consequences, including:
• Long-term pain and suffering
• Long-term or permanent disability
• Inability to work and earn an income
• Inability to take care of dependents, such as children
Because the consequences of a bicycle accident can be far-reaching, you have to know the rights and the options you have as legal recourse. Keep reading to learn more about the legal aspects surrounding bicycle accidents and how Bell & Pollock P.C. can help you file a successful compensation claim in court.
Denver Bicycle Accident Statistics
Because of the increase in bicycle road users, the city of Denver is continually building new bicycle paths and other infrastructure to accommodate them. Despite this, there are around 270 bicycle accidents in Denver per year, with more than half of them resulting in injury. The casualty figures in the city are also high, at 61 in 2018 and 62 in 2019.
Bicycles Are Motorists & Have to Follow the Law
Bicycles don’t have the same features as motor vehicles in terms of mass and momentum, and a bike is more maneuverable than a car with a shorter stopping distance requirement. Additionally, neither a biker nor a bicycle has to meet the same legal prerequisites before using a public road.
However, the law regards both bicycles and cars as vehicles on the road, and cyclists and motorists have the same rights and obligations, despite the significant differences between a car and a bike. Cyclists may not have to be licensed to ride, but they still must adhere to the rules of the roads and can receive a ticket for committing a driving offense.
Colorado Bicycle Safety Act
When bicycling in Colorado, you need to know your legal rights, as well as your duties. The Colorado Bicycle Safety Act deals with the safe interaction of bicycles with other vehicles on the road.
According to the sections of this act:
• The safe passing distance between a car and a bicycle is three feet.
• Cyclists can ride side-by-side but have to move to a single file when a vehicle approaches them.
• Cyclists can ride as far right in the right lane as they want, provided that it is safe.
• Cyclists can ride to the far-left or far-right in a one-way street to allow for safe turning without crossing lanes of traffic.
• Motorists may not threaten, crowd, swerve at, or throw missiles at cyclists.
Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Call us for a free case evaluation.