Grand Junction Bike Accidents Lawyers
There are thousands of road cycling and mountain biking trails in Colorado, hundreds of them in Grand Junction alone. It’s a great way to experience the Rocky Mountains up close or from afar on a smooth road trail. There are also many roadways that don’t have a bike lane, so the cyclist becomes a part of normal traffic. It’s here that most bicycle accidents occur and the results can be devastating. If you or someone you love have been injured in a cycling accident, you’ll need an attorney who can fight for a fair settlement. The Grand Junction bicycle accident lawyers at Killian, Davis, Richter & Kraniak, PC have been nationally recognized for their excellence and dedication to their clients.
Colorado Bicycle Accident Statistics
Bicycle accidents in general don’t happen as often as other vehicle accidents. For example, bicycle fatalities involving a vehicle accounts for roughly 2.5 percent of all car crashes, which is the lowest percentage compared to all other types of accidents. Out of the 1,309 reported bicycle accidents in Colorado in 2014, only 10 resulted in a fatality. In the years between 2012-2014, those aged 35-54 represented more than 31 percent of bicycle accident fatalities, the highest of any age group.
However, when these accidents do occur, they are often a direct result of driver negligence and leave the cyclist with lasting injuries. Broken bones, injuries to internal organs, ligament and tendon injuries, and spinal cord injuries are all common in bicycle accidents. However, brain injuries are especially prevalent, especially if the rider is not wearing a helmet.
While wearing a helmet is technically not required by law (at least in the sense of receiving a fine for not doing so) it provides an undeniable value to safety. Studies show that those who do wear a helmet reduce their chances of a severe brain injury by 88 percent. Considering that most injuries in a bicycle accident involve the head and neck, a helmet is clearly crucial.
Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Grand Junction
Accidents involving bicyclists occur near a stop sign most often. Approximately 9.7 percent happen due to a cyclist pedaling in front of a driver with the right-of-way, 9.3 percent happen due to a driver pulling in front of a cyclist with the right-of-way and 7.1 percent of them happen because a cyclist failed to yield to a car at an intersection with no stop signs or lights.
Determining fault can be difficult in every case as cities and states have different regulations and infrastructures. However, drivers of motor vehicles are more often than not at fault. Due to their larger size and higher rate of speed, drivers have a duty of care when it comes to cyclists on the road. Colorado’s “share the road” initiative encourages drivers to be on the lookout for cyclists, especially when turning, as most accidents happen due to a driver not seeing the cyclist when turning left. Bicyclists should do their best to make themselves visible by wearing brightly colored clothing and using reflective lighting when biking at night.
What Are Colorado Bicycling Laws?
Colorado is consistently recognized as one of the top states in the country for biking, and it’s because we have laws which help cyclists and drivers co-exist and ensure each one’s general safety. Here are some of which everyone should be aware:
- If riding on a road without a bike lane, the cyclist must stay to the far right, but may use the whole lane to pass, avoid obstructions and turn left.
- Bicycles are considered vehicles, and must follow the laws which apply. This means coming to a full stop at stop signs, signaling their intentions and yielding to emergency vehicles.
- When passing a bicycle as a driver, you must be able to allow for a three-foot buffer zone. If you can’t, then passing is illegal.
- Even though you may be on a bicycle, you can still be cited for reckless driving if you display a disregard for the safety of others.
Recovering from injuries and getting back to work after a bicycle accident is difficult enough; dealing with the insurance company can induce a great amount of stress and agony. If you’re seeking fair compensation for your injuries, the Grand Junction bicycle accident lawyers at Killian, Davis, Richter & Kraniak, PC have the expertise to negotiate with insurance for every dollar you are owed.