Colorado Bicycle accident law

Posted almost 4 years ago. Applies to Colorado, 3 helpful votes

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In 2007 in the USA, 698 cyclists were killed and an additional 44,000 were injured in traffic crashes

In Colorado alone there were 11 bicycle fatalities on the road. Cyclist deaths accounted for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities, and bicyclists made up 2 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year. In most motor vehicle/bicycle crashes involving adults, the motorist either turns left into an oncoming bicyclist heading straight in the opposite direction, or the motorist turns right into a bicyclist heading straight in the same direction, often in a bicycle lane. Frequently a motorist will drive out from a driveway or through a stop sign, colliding with a bicyclist.

Bicycle laws in Colorado

The traffic laws of Colorado determine liability in such cases, and we have the experience to press the claims of innocent victims. Tips to Avoid an Accident Colorado has a particular statute relating to the duty of care of bicyclists when on public roadways. The relevant portions of the statute are set out below. The most critical elements are that bicyclists have the same rights and duties as motorized vehicles. This means that bicyclists must stop at red lights, stop signs, and must obey all other rules of the road. Hand signals, etc., must be used, bicyclists must ride single file, and on the right side, as far to the right as is safely practicable.

Colorado has a statute which details the rights and duties of bicyclists on the roads. The statute was amended in 2005, and some of the pertinent parts provide:

42-4-1412. Operation of bicycles and other human-powered vehicles (1) Every person riding a bicycle shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this article, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. . .

(5) (a) ANY PERSON OPERATING A BICYCLE UPON A ROADWAY AT LESS THAN THE NORMAL SPEED OF TRAFFIC SHALL RIDE IN THE RIGHT-HAND LANE, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

(I) IF THE RIGHT-HAND LANE THEN AVAILABLE FOR TRAFFIC IS WIDE ENOUGH TO BE SAFELY SHARED WITH OVERTAKING VEHICLES, A BICYCLIST SHALL RIDE FAR ENOUGH TO THE RIGHT AS JUDGED SAFE BY THE BICYCLIST TO FACILITATE THE MOVEMENT OF SUCH OVERTAKING VEHICLES UNLESS OTHER CONDITIONS MAKE IT UNSAFE TO DO SO.

(II) A BICYCLIST MAY USE A LANE OTHER THAN THE RIGHT-HAND LANE WHEN: (A) PREPARING FOR A LEFT TURN AT AN INTERSECTION OR INTO A PRIVATE ROADWAY OR DRIVEWAY; (B) OVERTAKING A SLOWER VEHICLE; OR (C) TAKING REASONABLY NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS TO AVOID HAZARDS OR ROAD CONDITIONS.

(III) UPON APPROACHING AN INTERSECTION WHERE RIGHT TURNS ARE PERMITTED AND THERE IS A DEDICATED RIGHT-TURN LANE, A BICYCLIST MAY RIDE ON THE LEFT-HAND PORTION OF THE DEDICATED RIGHT-TURN LANE EVEN IF THE BICYCLIST DOES NOT INTEND TO TURN RIGHT.

This summary is not intended to be a substitute for a legal consultation, or for the statute. If you are in a Colorado bicycle accident, please call an experienced attorney

Additional Resources

Chalatlaw webpage on bicycle accident law

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