Cycling is one of the most popular forms of recreational activity and transportation in metro Denver. Notwithstanding the positive trend, some people continue to avoid bicycles, citing factors such as traffic, safety, distance, and weather. Others avoid bicycles out to fear of injury and even biases against cyclists. Unfortunately, the latter intangible limiters are subconscious in nature and have nothing to do with cycling.
At the Colorado Bicycle Injury Law Firm Bowman & Chamberlain, LLC, our personal injury attorneys believe knowing the types of accidents can help cyclists prevent them from happening. In an effort to help educate the population and reduce car versus auto accidents, our bike injury lawyers offer the following information relating to the various types of bike accidents.
Right Turn Bike Accidents
A right turn bike accident occurs when a vehicle passes a cyclist but makes a sudden, unexpected right turn with or without signaling. This situation is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injuries or death. If passed on the left, cyclists should evaluate whether the driver may make a right turn by observing the direction of the front right wheels. If the wheels turn to the right, the driver is likely going to make a right turn in front of the cyclist. In addition to spotting the direction of the front wheels, cyclists should ride farther to the left so drivers scanning only the road can see them.
Left Turn Bike Accidents
A left turn accident occurs when a driver and cyclist approach an intersection from opposite directions and the driver suddenly turns left in front of the cyclist. To avoid this type of accident, cyclists should always double check for vehicles turning left when entering an intersection. Also, cyclists should use lights and bright clothing. While it may seem unnecessary to use a light during the day, it may save a cyclists’ life in the event a driver decides to suddenly turn. When riding at night, cyclists should absolutely use a headlight, as it is required by law.
Gap Turn Bike Accidents
A gap 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. With no warning, the vehicle and bicycle collide. Alternatively, the cyclist may notice the vehicle and attempt to avoid impact, crashing while trying to avoid a collision. There is very little a cyclist can do to avoid a carelessly driven vehicle. To reduce the likelihood of being involved in this type of accident, cyclists should reduce speed when approaching a gap in traffic and be prepared to stop at a moment’s notice.
Side-Swipe Bike Accidents
A side-swipe bike accident occurs when the width of a motor vehicle is dangerously extended, increasing the chances of hitting a cyclist who is lawfully riding along the right side of the road. Cyclists are subject to the same rules and regulations as motor vehicles. Unfortunately, some drivers do not see it that way. Cyclists should be aware that some vehicles, mirrors, or trailers may be significantly wider than the vehicle itself. To avoid side-swipe bike accidents, cyclists should provide as much extra room as possible when riding alongside larger vehicles or vehicles with loads.
Car Door Bike Accidents
A car door accident occurs when a door is flung open on the driver’s side of a parked car without regard to an approaching cyclist. Alternatively, a passenger suddenly opens a door on the right side of a stopped car. Upon impact, a cyclist may experience significant damage because car doors present sharp corners. Cyclists should continuously scan their surroundings while riding. They should be aware of parked cars where someone is about to enter or exit the vehicle. Also, when cyclists ride far enough to the left, they no longer run the risk of colliding into a car door.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Driving is a complex task, requiring the concurrent execution of various cognitive, physical sensory, and psychomotor skills. Drivers are expected to pay attention, track locations of surrounding vehicles, navigate, and anticipate hazards. This involves competition for limited neural resources, such that engagement in one task affects performance of another. When behind the wheel, some drivers fail to recognize the dangers of distracted driving. Cyclists should ride with awareness, keeping their eyes on the road and paying attention to their environment at all times.
Pedi-Cab Bike Accidents
A pedi-cab is a bicycle with a carriage attached to its back where passengers can sit. These bicycles are becoming more and more popular as the population of Denver continues to grow. They are a popular mode of transportation. Because the carriage is unprotected, unfortunately, the occupants are vulnerable to significant injury because they lack protection of metal, seat belts, and airbags that motor vehicles provide. Fortunately, pedi-cab businesses are required to purchase insurance policies providing coverage for injury or death of any person or persons.
Road Rage Bike Accidents
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, 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. While it may be difficult to prevent road rage, cyclists can take steps to protect themselves. If a cyclist encounters road rage, they should ride out of harm’s way, copy the driver’s license plate, and call the police immediately.
Denver Bicycle Injury Lawyers
Our Denver personal Injury 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.