Automobile accidents happen all the time, but as in other states, every driver is responsible for doing all they can to prevent causing a car accident in Colorado.
Driving a vehicle of any size in Colorado involves certain minimum legal requirements and obligations beyond possessing a valid driver’s license and liability insurance. In order to uphold these responsibilities, there are certain duties every driver has, including:
Duty to Drive at a Reasonable Speed
Colorado is a reasonable and prudent state, meaning that motorists should not drive faster than is safe under the applicable conditions, which include traffic, road conditions, weather, and visibility. The speed limits in Colorado are as follows:
- Narrow, winding mountain roads and blind curves: 20mph
- Central business districts: 25 mph
- Residential areas: 35 mph
- Open mountain highways: 40 mph
- Divided and undivided roads: 65 mph
- Urban freeways: 65 mph
- Rural freeways: 75 mph for all motor vehicles, including trucks
Posted speed limits are maximum speeds motorists can lawfully drive, provided that the road and weather conditions are ideal.
Duty to Stay Aware of Their Surroundings
Colorado drivers are required to stay alert, aware of the environment surrounding their vehicle, and stay on the lookout for pedestrians, other vehicles, and road hazards like animals, debris, and construction and school zones.
Lapses in attention and slow reaction times while driving are extremely dangerous, since driving is a complex activity that involves many small but important decisions. Studies show that excessive sleepiness and distracted driving decreases judgment and increases risk taking.
Duty to Maintain Control of the Vehicle
Colorado drivers have a duty to main control of their vehicle while on the road. This duty includes being able to stop quickly, even on slippery roads or in low visibility weather conditions. If a driver loses control if he overturns or leaves the road for no apparent reason, negligence may be inferred.
Duty to Maintain and Use the Vehicle’s Equipment Properly
Ever see someone driving a car that looks unsafe? Drivers also have a duty to keep their vehicles maintained and in safe operating condition. This means that all lights and brakes need to be operating properly, because worn brakes or non-functioning lights pose a very real danger to other drivers on the road and could result in a devastating accident.
Duty to Follow Colorado Laws
Motorists living in Colorado have a duty to be aware of and obey the laws of the state they live in, and if these laws are violated, an accident claim may be made against the negligent party. Examples of some of the driving laws Coloradoans are required to follow include:
- Refraining from driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Allowing pedestrians the right-of-way
- Obeying all posted speed limits
- Respecting all rules of the road
If you have been injured due to the carelessness of another driver, you should discuss your situation with a qualified Colorado personal injury attorney who will help you pursue compensation for any accident-related damages you may have sustained.
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