According to the Bicycling Manual published by the Colorado Department of Transportation, cyclists in the state have the same rights and obligations as drivers of motor vehicles. Colorado Bicycle Laws imply that bicycles are subject to the same laws and regulations as motorists, and may be fined or otherwise punished for disobeying them. When it comes to bike accidents, our first suggestion is that we don’t refer to them as bike accidents, and you shouldn’t either. The term “accident” implies an event that was “accidental” or random. We’ve learned through representing numerous injured bikers that “bike accidents” are very uncommon. In the vast majority of collisions, the motorist made a poor decision and is at fault. As a result, we use the term “bicycle collision.” In order to protect its bicyclists, the state of Colorado has enacted an entire range of laws aimed at protecting bikers. In many respects, bicyclists retain the same rights as all motor vehicle drivers. If you have been in an accident involving a motor vehicle while riding your bicycle and don’t know what to do next, here are 7 Actions to Take.

Except as to the unique rules in this article and except for those provisions which by their nature can have no applicability, any person riding a bicycle shall enjoy all the rights and obligations applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this article. According to Colorado’s bicycle laws, cyclists must follow the requirements outlined in this section and Section 42-4-221, and while utilizing streets and highways inside incorporated cities and towns, they must adhere to municipal legislation governing the operation of bicycles, as outlined in Section 42-4-111.

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How cyclists are treated by Colorado law

A bike in Colorado is treated essentially the same as a car. According to the Colorado Revised Statutes, bicycles in the state have the same rights and obligations as motorists while using public highways (section 42-4-1412). Bicyclists have the right to use all paved roads and streets, with the exception of interstates. As long as it doesn’t get in the way, two-up cycling is allowed on bicycle paths. Colorado bicycle laws require all bicyclists to be familiar with and follow all traffic laws, including those that apply specifically to bikes. Colorado has several interesting cycling laws that you should read about before your next ride.

For example, bicyclists are not allowed to ride next to motor vehicles in the same lane unless they are passing. Bicycles are not permitted on the sidewalks in Denver or any other city center in Colorado. We’ve included state statutes that emphasize your rights and obligations as a bicycle below, as well as some extra safety precautions to keep in mind as a more vulnerable road user. The rules and practices discussed here acknowledge the weighty duty we all share as motorists and equip us to watch out for one another on Colorado’s roadways.

Wearing helmets

The use of a bicycle helmet is strongly recommended while one is on the go. The National Safety Council reports that helmet use reduces the risk of brain injury among bikers by almost 50%. More than half of American people said they “never” use this basic but effective safety gear, despite the fact that the vast majority of cyclists killed in traffic accidents in recent years were not wearing helmets. The Colorado Department of Transportation (DOT) recommends that cyclists equip themselves with protective gear such as helmets, goggles, and gloves. However, Colorado law does not mandate helmet use for cyclists.

Colorado laws affecting cyclists

If you’re caught breaking Colorado bicycle laws while riding your bike, you’ll face the same consequences as a car driver, except for the points on your license. A cyclist may be issued a citation and fined if they are seen not utilizing hand signals to indicate a turn or stop, or if their bicycle does not have a rear red reflector or front spotlight. Bicycle-specific regulations in the state of Colorado are compiled here. From a cyclist’s point of view, the fundamental regulations are:

  • People riding bicycles or electrically assisted bicycles on a highway must not ride more than two abreast except on routes or areas of roads specifically aside for the sole use of bicycles, under 42-4-1412 (6)(a) (often referred to as the “Two Abreast Rule”)
  • According to the “Rules of the Road Rule” 42-4-1412, someone riding a bicycle or an electrically assisted bicycle has all of the rights and obligations of a driver of any other vehicle
  • 42-4-1412(5)(A), often known as the “Bicycle Discretion Rule” applies to the use of bikes and other forms of human-powered transportation. If the cyclist determines that it is safe to do so, he or she must ride to the right of the lane in which the passing vehicle is traveling
  • The “Road Rules Rule,” Section 42-4-1412, legislature controlling bicycles and other pedal-driven vehicles. Except as otherwise permitted, a person on a bicycle or electrically assisted bicycle has the same rights and responsibilities as the driver of any other vehicle
  • No rider may use a bicycle or electric-assist bicycle to transport more people than the maximum number of passengers the vehicle is certified to carry
  • On a highway, no cyclist or rider of an electrically assisted bicycle may hitch up to any motor vehicle
  • Under certain circumstances, anybody riding a bicycle or electrically assisted bicycle on a highway at a speed lower than the posted speed limit must ride in the right-hand lane
  • If riding two abreast on a two-lane road, you must stay in the center of your lane and not obstruct the flow of traffic in any manner
  • Persons riding bicycles or electrically assisted bicycles on and along a sidewalk or pathway, or crossing a roadway on and along a crosswalk, shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances, including, but not limited to, the rights and duties granted and required by section 42-4-802
  • A bicyclist who is traveling on a sidewalk must dismount before entering a road and must follow all pedestrian laws and regulations if he or she wishes to cross that road

Colorado bicycle laws protecting cyclists

  • When it comes to overtaking and passing other cars, the “Three Foot Rule” ( 42-4-1002) comes into play. When passing or overtaking a bike, automobiles must provide a three-foot space between themselves and the rider. Any breach of this law is a Class A traffic infraction
  • “No Threat Rule” 42-4-1008.5 makes it criminal to crowd or threaten a bike. It is against the law to drive recklessly and carelessly and go too close to or even in the same space as a bicycle
  • When a motorist is the direct cause of severe physical harm to a cyclist or any of the other vulnerable road users listed in 42-4-1402.5, the offender faces enhanced sanctions. A driver who violates section 42-4-1402 and whose acts cause severe bodily harm to a vulnerable road user can face several penalties, including receiving a class 1 traffic misdemeanor, a license suspension in accordance with section 42-2-127, and an order of restitution under part 6 of article 1.3 of title 18
  • The driver of a vehicle that is passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction must move to the left at a safe distance and may not return to the right side of the road until the overtaken vehicle is safely past. This is in accordance with Section 42-4-1003 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. This rule applies to both bicycles and automobiles that undertake this move

Why you need a bicycle accident lawyer

You should choose a lawyer with personal injury expertise if you or a loved one were seriously hurt in a bicycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. Matlin Injury Law‘s skilled bicycle accident lawyers understand the victim’s pain and suffering after a collision and fight diligently for full and fair compensation.

Collisions between bicycles and vehicles are particularly dangerous because of the high probability of catastrophic injury or death. Your claim will likely be settled by the insurance carrier of the negligent motorist. However, insurance companies may often reject your claim, question the severity of your injuries, and refuse to compensate you for all of your losses. There’s also a chance that the negligent motorist doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your whole medical costs and other losses. 5 Steps to take after a Pedestrian Accident.

The at-fault driver’s insurance company will only have to foot the bill up to the policy’s maximum payout. This implies that you will likely need to file a lawsuit to acquire proper compensation for your accident claim if your losses exceeded the motorist’s insurance coverage or if they were uninsured. An experienced attorney who knows Colorado bicycle laws will help you reach the full settlement agreement that you deserve to aid in your complete recovery and will vehemently represent you in court no matter the outcome.

Need an Experienced Colorado Personal Injury Lawyer Now? Contact Matlin Injury Law!

If you have been wrongfully injured in a bicycle accident in Parker, Colorado, or any of the surrounding areas, Matlin Injury Law is here for you. At Matlin Injury Law, our attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure that every detail of your personal injury case is handled with excellence.

We give each and every one of our clients the individualized attention that they deserve and expect. You can request a free consultation online or email Brian Matlin directly.

Contact Matlin Injury Law today at 720-464-3600 let us help you get the individualized attention and assistance you need for your unique case!