Bicycling continues to grow in popularity in Colorado, both as a method of transportation and as a recreational activity. The Denver metro area is well known for its network of easily accessible bike paths and people are using bicycles more and more for their commutes especially when the weather of nice. The state of Colorado helps sponsor bike to work days and many employers encourage their employees to use their bikes. As bicyclists ourselves, we understand the joys of bicycling.
Sharing the Road Makes Bicycling Risky
However, as bicyclists ourselves, we also understand the inherent danger of bicycling, particularly the dangers of sharing the road with motor vehicles. It’s increasingly commonplace to see bicycles traveling with motor vehicles on the roads throughout the metro Denver area.
With more bicyclists comes the chance for more accidents. For example, from 2010-2012, 29 bicyclists died in traffic accidents in Colorado, with an approximate 2% increase in bicyclist deaths per year. Drivers need to be more aware of the bicyclists on the road, as they aren’t as easy to spot as other vehicles or even motorcycles. Bicyclists may travel in both traffic lanes and bicycle lanes, so drivers must always be aware of their surroundings when there is bicycle traffic. Drivers also need to be especially aware of bicyclists when making turns, as they may be turning across devoted bicycle lanes.
How Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?
While there are many things a driver should do, that doesn’t mean they will do it, and when cars and trucks collide with bicycles, the results can be catastrophic for the bicyclist. Negligent drivers often fail to provide sufficient space for bicyclists or even observe them all together. They may not respect the bicycle lanes, a bicyclist’s right of way, or even keep out of the bicycle lanes while driving.
A car wraps the driver up in metal and fiberglass, but a bicyclist can’t ride in a suit of armor. Thus, compounding the problem is that bicyclists wear little to no protection beyond a helmet, and even then, a swift and powerful impact with the pavement can break a helmet. While helmets are effective at reducing the risk of traumatic brain injury by 52% and death by 44%, bicycle accidents often result in serious injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, internal injuries, and even death.
What Kinds of Claims Would an Injured Bicyclist Have?
First, the bicyclist may have a claim against the driver who hit them or caused them to have an accident. For example, a bicyclist may have a claim if a driver swerved into a bicyclist’s path to scare the cyclist or did so negligently, and the bicyclist was hurt trying to avoid a collision. A bicyclist may also have a claim for unsafe road conditions if the accident wouldn’t have happened under better conditions. A bicyclist may also have a claim against the bicycle or helmet manufacturer for defective products.
If you, a family member, or a friend have had the misfortune of being injured in a bicycle accident, we want to help you. The attorneys at Kidneigh & Kaufman are experienced with handling bicycle accidents and injuries and have had a history of success in handling these types of cases. Call Kidneigh & Kaufman at 303-393-6666 today to schedule your free consultation.
 Governing. Deadliest States For Cyclists: Per Capita Fatality Rates. http://www.governing .com/gov-data/transportation-infrastructure/most-bicycle-cyclist-deaths-per-capita-by-state-data.html.
 Linda Thrasybule. Helmets prevent severe head injuries in bike accidents. https://www.reuters. com/article/us-health-bicycles-helmets/helmets-prevent-severe-head-injuries-in-bike-accidents-idUSKCN10U1LY. (Aug. 19, 2016)