Bicycling is not just a hobby in and around Durango; it’s a religion. In fact, every year Durango hosts the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic that draws some of the most talented bicyclists in the world. Suffice to say that Durango and its surrounding counties are beautiful areas to ride in the country. From road racers to mountain bikers to people commuting on their fixed gears, there are hundreds of bicycle riders on Colorado’s roads on any given day.
Not even heavy weather can deter many of these bicyclists. With a few adjustments such as disc brakes and studded tires, bike riders can handle snow and ice on Colorado roads with the greatest of ease.
When it comes to the potential for bicycle accidents, vehicles are far more dangerous than any rough weather. Being hit by a car is far and away the most common cause of bicycle accidents nationwide, accounting for almost 30 percent of traffic-related bicycle injuries.
Colorado has some very specific laws for dealing with vehicle-related bicycle crashes. In many bicycle accidents, a vehicle has violated a specific law pertaining to bicyclists on the road.
- Rev. Stat. Ann. § 42-4-1003. Overtaking a vehicle on the left
- In Colorado, a driver overtaking a bicyclist must give that bicyclist a minimum of three feet distance between any part of the car (including mirrors) and the bicyclist.
- Rev. Stat. Ann. § 42-4-1412. Operation of bicycles
- Colorado treats bicycles just like vehicles with certain provisions, like the one above. In other words, bicycles enjoy the same rights as vehicles and carry the same responsibilities as vehicles.
Even with these provisions, bicycle accidents accounted for 2.7% of all Colorado roadway fatalities in 2016. Even more shocking is that only ten percent of bicycle accident-related injuries are ever recorded by police. This shows that in most cases of bicycle accident injuries, the person responsible for the accident is never brought to justice.
If you have been the victim of a bicycle accident, call Durango injury attorney Jordon Harlan to find out what your legal options are.
How Do Bicycle Accidents Happen In Colorado
The most common place for bicycle accidents to take place might surprise you: in intersection crosswalks. This is all the more surprising since bicycles are not required by law to use crosswalks; in fact, some municipalities in Colorado require bicyclists to walk their bikes through crosswalks, or else ride on the street.
Despite all this, crosswalks account for somewhere between 45 and 50 percent of all bicycle accidents. This was the case in one Colorado bike accident not long ago, where the cyclist using the crosswalk was struck by an oncoming car that disregarded the stop sign. The bicyclist was struck by the car, rolled onto the hood, hit the windshield and was carried 82 feet before the car came to a stop.
Another common cause of bicycle accidents is road-related accidents. In this case, unclear road signage, poorly maintained roads, or obstacles left in the road may take bicyclists by surprise and cause them to crash. This is a frequent cause of mountain bike or trail bike accidents. In one such incident, a woman riding a mountain bike through South Platte Park in Denver encountered a barbed wire trap left in the middle of the trail. The trap threw her off her bike, causing her injury and damaging her bike.
Find a Bicycle Accident Attorney in Durango
Even when you follow traffic laws and exercise caution, not only can you suffer injury from a negligent driver, but you may find that the driver and law enforcement blame you for the accident, even when you are clearly the victim.
Don’t let your rights suffer in the legal system. Call Colorado accident attorney Jordon Harlan to make sure that you receive justice. You should not have to bear the blame for an accident with a vehicle much bigger than you. Jordon can help you understand your legal options for seeking financial compensation for your bicycle accident.