Following these Colorado regulations can help you avoid accidents and injuries while biking.
Spring is on the way, and Coloradoans soon will be biking throughout the state in greater numbers. The heavy traffic in many Colorado cities can be an accident risk for bicyclists, however. In 2018, six bicyclists and 18 pedestrians died in Denver alone, and nearly 100 more were seriously injured.
The Colorado Laws Governing Bicyclists
Colorado bicyclists have the same privileges and duties as others on the state’s roads. Some of the laws that relate specifically to bicyclists include:
- Bicycles cannot carry more people at one time than the number for which they have been equipped.
- A bicyclist is required to display a hand signal for 100 feet before turning or stopping.
- Bicyclists operating at less than the speed limit must ride in the right-hand lane except when making a left turn, overtaking a slower vehicle, or avoiding a hazard.
- Colorado bicyclists are not required to wear a helmet, and cell phones are not prohibited.
- Where permitted, a bicyclist riding upon or along a sidewalk or across a crosswalk must yield the right of way to pedestrians and must give an audible sign before passing a pedestrian.
- Every bicycle traveling on a Colorado highway between sunset and sunrise must be with a lamp on the front that radiates a white light visible from at least 500 feet. Lighted lamps are required at those times and any others when visibility is less than 1,000 feet.
- Bicyclists are not allowed to ride more than two abreast on a roadway unless they are on a path or portion of the road designated exclusively for bicycles.
- Bicycles can be parked on a sidewalk as long as they do not impede the movement of pedestrians or other traffic. They can also be parked at any angle to the curb or edge of the road where parking is allowed.
- The driver of a motor vehicle passing a bicycle must stay three feet from the left side of the bicyclist.
In 2018, Colorado passed the “Safety Stop” law which gives communities the discretion to permit bicyclists to slow to a reasonable speed (20 mph or less, unless local governments wish to raise or lower the speed further) at a stop sign and yield to anyone with the right of way before proceeding through without coming to a complete stop.
Liability for a Colorado Bicycle Accident
Fault for a bicycle accident in Colorado usually depends on which vehicle had the right of way, and bicycles are subject to the same rules as other drivers. When two vehicles approach an intersection where there is no traffic signal, the one arriving first usually has the right of way. If a major street and a minor street are intersecting, those traveling on the major street typically have the right of way.
When a traffic signal is present, the signal will determine the right of way. However, there are times when the sensor won’t be able to detect a bicycle. In this circumstance, the bicyclist should move closer to the sensor, wait until it is safe to cross against the light, or cross at the crosswalk.
Contact an Experienced Colorado Personal Injury Attorney
Were you injured in a bicycle accident in Colorado? Contact personal injury attorney Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 or (800) ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your injuries and potential for recovery.