Cycling is one of the most popular forms of recreational activity and transportation in Colorado. Despite the upward trend in bicycle use, many people continue to avoid bicycles, citing factors such as traffic, safety, distance, and weather. In addition, some intangible factors often act as powerful limiters. These include fear of injury, fear of being seen, and even social biases against cyclists. Unfortunately, many of these intangible limiters, which are more subconscious than conscious, are socially constructed and have absolutely nothing to do with the act of cycling, be it for utility, recreation, or sport.
At Bowman & Chamberlain, LLC, we believe that knowing the types of accidents can help cyclists prevent them from happening in the first place. Our bike injury lawyers in Denver, Colorado, firmly believe preparation is key in bicycle safety. In an effort to help educate the cycling population, we have identified and laid out the various types of accidents. Knowing this information may just save a life.
A pedicab is a bicycle with a carriage attached to its back where passengers can sit. It is a means of for-hire transportation used frequently throughout Denver. The carriage is unprotected, with nothing behind it to cushion the impact of a collision from the rear. Bicyclists and passengers in pedicabs share a common vulnerability when it comes to accidents in that both lack protection of metal, seat belts, and airbags that motor vehicles provide. This lack of protection often increases the severity of injuries bicyclists and pedicab passengers suffer in accidents. Fortunately, pedicab businesses are required to purchase insurance policies providing liability coverage for injury or death of any person or persons.
At the most basic level, road rage is any verbal or physical behavior that interferes with a cyclists' ability to ride safely and/or interferes with his freedom of movement. Oftentimes, unfortunately, road rage can escalate to the point of motorists throwing objects at a cyclist, attempting to create harm. Any type of road rage is unacceptable, illegal, and extremely dangerous.
Cyclists should take steps to protect and prevent this type of behavior. They should copy the license plate of the vehicle if they can do so without getting injured. Also, they should ride out of harm's way and call the police immediately. If a cyclist was hurt, they should also call an ambulance. Road rage is a criminal offense. Convicted offenders may face fines and incarceration.
In today's connected world where multitasking is the norm, people feel pressured to remain in constant contact. When behind the wheel, these drivers fail to recognize the dangers they pose by taking their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel, even for a split second. The average text, for instance, takes a driver's eyes off of the road for nearly five seconds. When traveling at 55 miles per hour, that is enough time to travel the length of a football field.
Cyclists and automobile drivers must drive with full awareness and concentration. Cyclists should try to ride with an much awareness as possible, keeping their eyes on the road and paying attention to the environment at all times. Distracted driving is a serious problem becasue a bike is no match for a car.
There are multiple ways a cyclist can be injured by a car door. The first typically occurs when a door is flung open on the driver's side of a parked car. The second occasionally happens when a passenger suddenly opens a door on the right side of a car which is stopped. Upon impact, a cyclist may fly over the top of the car door. The level of injury can vary depending on how the door was angled upon impact. A door presents a sharp corner that can do serious physical damage to a rider. Cyclists should protect themselves by scanning continuously while riding. They should be aware of cars that have just parked, people in parked cars, and other clues which may signal that someone is about to exit the vehicle.
One of the most dangerous accident situations occurs when a cyclist moves into the roadway to make a left-hand turn and a driver simultaneously comes up from behind and rear-ends the cyclist. Unfortunately, this can result in severe injuries or even death.
Cyclists should stay to the right as long as possible and make sure the left lane is clear. They should carefully observe the placement and speed of all on-coming vehicles. If the situation is not right, they should not risk it. Cyclists should wait until the road is clear as it can be. It is often difficult to estimate an approaching vehicle's speed when constantly glancing behind. It is better to be safe than sorry.
A gap left turn bike accident occurs when a driver makes a sudden turn through an opening in standstill traffic while a cyclist is traveling in the opposite direction near the curb. The vehicle has a duty to yield, but strikes the cyclist or causes the cyclist to crash while trying to avoid impact.
There is little a cyclist can do to avoid a carelessly driven vehicle in motion. The road is shared by cyclists and motorists. Unfortunately, there is no way to defend against a motorist who drives without regards to cyclists. To avoid a gap-turn, cyclists should reduce speed when approaching a gap in traffic and be ready to stop at a moment's notice.
A left-turn accident is the most frequent bicycle accident in which a driver and cyclist approach an intersection from opposite directions and the driver suddenly turns left in front of the cyclist.
The driver would not likely have turned if he saw the cyclist. To prevent this type of accident, a rider should take two precautionary steps. First, he should double check for left turning vehicles when entering an intersection. Second, as always, a cyclist should wear brightly colored clothing. Some motorists do not realize that cyclists have the same right to share the road. Despite the fact that the cyclist was riding legally and cautiously, there still may be no way to avoid an illegal left turn incident.
A "right turner" occurs when a motor vehicle travels parallel to the cyclist, accelerates, passes, and then suddenly makes an unexpected right turn with or without signaling. The rider is helplessly cut off. This situation is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injuries or death.
If a cyclist is passed on the left by a vehicle, cyclists should be conscious of the fact the driver may cut him off by making a right turn. Cyclists should make it a habit to observe the direction of the vehicle's front right wheel to see if the driver is turning toward the right. If the vehicle's wheels does turn to the right, cyclists should anticipate a turn to provide more time to react quickly to get out of harm's way.
A side-swipe is an extremely dangerous cycling situation, where the width of the motor vehicle is dangerously extended, increasing the chances of hitting a cyclist who is lawfully riding along the right side of the road.
Cyclists should be aware the mirrors of some motor vehicles typically extend outward and the loads or trailers may be significantly wider than the vehicle itself. It is essential that cyclists provide as much extra room as possible when these vehicles are passing. Despite all precautions, however, when a side-swipe occurs, there is often little or no time to react.
The Right Turn Accident
The Side-Swipe Accident
The Gap Turn Accident
The Left Turn Accident
The Read End Accident
Car Door Accident
Side Swipe Accident
DenverBikeLaws.com © All Rights Reserved. The information on this site is for general information purposes only. The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your own individual situation. Use of this website does create an attorney-client relationship.
We practice in Aurora, Thornton, Northglenn, Adams County, Boulder, Broomfield, Englewood, Glendale, Littleton, Arapahoe County, Denver, Lowry, Highlands Ranch, Douglas County, Westminster, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, and Jefferson County