With spring weather around the corner, many Denver area residents will choose to walk to work and around the city. A recent survey found that 35,000 people walk to work on nice days throughout the year. While there are many benefits to walking, being a pedestrian can also present dangers for both pedestrians and drivers.
Every year more than 1,600 of the 70,000 motor vehicle crashes in the Denver region involve pedestrians or bicyclists, and those crashes are much more likely to cause serious injuries or fatalities, according to a report from the Denver Regional Council of Governments. This report found that 17% of all Denver traffic fatalities involved pedestrians.
Of all pedestrian crashes, most occur at intersections, but the majority of fatal pedestrian crashes occur mid-block. This statistic, along with Colorado law regarding crosswalks and pedestrians, is important to keep in mind. Colorado law states that pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks and that drivers have a duty to avoid colliding with a pedestrian in a roadway, including giving a warning by sounding the horn and exercising precaution when the pedestrian is a child. However, Colorado law also prohibits pedestrians from suddenly leaving a curb to walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle, and pedestrians are required to follow traffic control devices and regulations. Additionally, there may be different rules for pedestrians crossing anywhere other than a crosswalk.
The DRCOG report found that when drivers are at fault for pedestrian crashes, they are typically cited with careless driving or failing to yield the right-of-way, and when pedestrians are at fault they are cited with unlawful crossing, walking into the path of a vehicle, or failing to observe traffic device. To ensure the safety of yourself and others as a pedestrian, cross only at designated crosswalks and do not cross against the traffic control device. As a driver, use caution upon approaching crosswalks and intersections. Make sure you stop at the marked line and do not proceed forward into the crosswalk when you have a red light, and use caution when making a turn, especially when a pedestrian may have the right-of-way on a green light.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a pedestrian or bicycle accident – or in any type of traffic crash, contact a Denver auto accident attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. by calling (303) 795-5900 or by emailing us via the contact form on this page to find out more about your options for financial recovery.