As experienced Denver bike accident attorneys who have helped countless victims of personal injury throughout Colorado, the lawyers at Bowman & Chamberlain, LLC, recognize the importance of educating the public on bike safety. Preventative riding helps avoid bike accidents altogether. The following tips are important and should be used in conjunction with any secondary measures, such as wearing a helmet.
Avoid Bike Accidents – Traffic Laws
All cyclists are legally required to adhere to the Rules of the Road, just like drivers. When cyclists ride in a manner that is predictable to others, it is a lot easier to avoid bike accidents altogether. When cyclists do not ride in compliance with the law, their actions may constitute negligence. If a cyclist’s negligence contributed to an accident, it will be nearly impossible for you to be compensated.
Automobile vs. bicycle accidents can result in extensive injuries. In the event of a collision, the cyclist has minimal protection from the force of impact, which can result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Denver has grown to recognize the increase in bike traffic. Special bike lanes have been constructed throughout the downtown area. Despite attempts at educating motorists to treat cyclists as other vehicles, accidents continue to take place.
Avoid Bike Accidents – Awareness
Cyclists have duty to keep a proper lookout and exercise due care. They must ride with an awareness of what is happening around them. Cyclists do not have a legal duty to anticipate a motorist’s illegal maneuver but they are required to be cognizant of their surroundings. Understanding their environment can help them respond to potential hazards before they turn into collisions. Riding with awareness can help cyclists avoid bike accidents.
Avoid Bike Accidents – Be Conspicuous
Automobiles are 20 times the size of bikes and a 1,000 times heavier. It is sometimes the case that motorists do not see cyclists on the road. In fact, “I did not see him” is the number one excuse drivers make when they collide into a cyclist. When a cyclist enhances conspicuity, they significantly reduce the likelihood of collision with an inattentive driver.
When riding at night or in other low light conditions, such as fog or heavy rain, the law requires cyclists to equip their bike with lights and reflectors. Failure to do so could be used as evidence of negligence. Keep in mind, however, cyclists are not legally required to ride with lights on during daylight hours. That being said, doing so could also increase the chance of being seen during the day.
Avoid Bike Accidents – the Intersection
Although intersections represent a relatively minor portion of a cyclist’s travel route, they are where a cyclist is most at risk of getting hit by a motor vehicle or otherwise involved in an accident. Cyclists should take safety precautions whenever approaching and riding through an intersection. Also discussed herein, it pays to learn the legal rules of liability. Cyclists who do not follow the law or do not keep a proper lookout might be deemed responsible for an accident, even if they are seriously injured.
Avoid Bike Accidents – Alcohol
There is nothing a cyclist can do to control a driver’s intake of alcohol. However, cyclists can control the times they ride, taking cue from sober drivers by avoiding the roads at times when drunk drivers are more likely to be on the road. While this does not guarantee cyclists will not encounter a drunk driver, the odds can be greatly reduced.
A factor all cyclists can control is their own consumption of alcohol. If a cyclist has been drinking, skip the ride home. Cycling fatalities related to alcohol also include collisions in which the cyclist was over the limit. Limiting alcohol intake can help riders avoid bike accidents.
Avoid Bike Accidents – Emergency Maneuvers
Even when a cyclist does everything possible to reduce the possibility of an incident, the undeniable fact is accidents happen. When all else fails, a cyclist should execute an emergency maneuver. Cyclists do not have a legal duty to know emergency maneuvers but they should research as much as they can because it could save their life. Becoming familiar with the various types of emergency maneuvers and practicing them until they are second-nature could mean the difference between life and death.
Contact our Denver Bike Accident Attorneys
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact our Denver bike accident attorneys today at 720.863.6904 or email us for your free consultation. Our lawyers handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including Motor Vehicle Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Slip & Fall Accidents, and Dog Bites & Attacks. We service Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Commerce City, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and other parts of metropolitan Denver, Colorado.
Owner and Managing Attorney
Jerry Bowman, J.D., M.A., Owner and managing attorney of Bowman Law LLC, takes his responsibility to the legal profession seriously and dedicates his time and effort to providing quality and competent legal representation to clients in Denver and throughout all of Colorado. He holds an MA in Political Science from Wayne State University and earned his law degree in two and a half years from Michigan State University College of Law.