Pedestrian and Cyclists’ Accidents in Colorado: What You Should Know
With the number of cyclists increasing through programs like Bike to Work, Ride to Work Day and May 2011 becoming National Bike Month, drivers will see an increase of the number of cyclists on the road, not to mention the number of people now walking as an alternative means of transportation.
Boulder, CO has one of the largest tri-athlete communities in America. Hundreds of cyclists and runners frequent the roadways daily there and throughout the Front Range of the Rockies. Trendier ways such as skateboards, rollerblades and scooters are also becoming more prominent means of transportation for today’s youth, not to mention motorcycles. These people have rights too!
Today there are many drivers that become distracted by cell phones, radios, fast food, etc. that it becomes ever more difficult to be a good defensive driver as well as being aware of pedestrians and cyclists. The lack of awareness is growing. If you or someone you know have fallen victim to one of these crimes and you are reading this now, you have taken the right step to protecting your rights.
Often times, vehicles on the roads and highways feel they are in the right because of the size of their vehicle. Hummers and oversized SUVs tend to rule the streets with a “Get Out of My Way” approach to driving. Violations of these rights can and will result in legal action, if you have the right representation! And the government is on board…
Many times, the problem lies in the lack of previsions for pedestrians such as proper crosswalks with hand signaling lights and sounds for all people, proper space provisions on roadways and proper education for all drivers. However, the Department of Transportation is now including cyclists and their needs into the development and designs of federally funded projects.
As of March 2010, the Department of Transportation no longer considers the automobile as the autonomous ruling aspect on America’s roads. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says on his blog that the needs of pedestrians and cyclists will be considered along with those of motorists, and he makes it clear that walking and riding are “an important component for livable communities.” He also states, “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.”
Beyond making it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to get around, the DOTs new $500 billion project is intended to make it safer for them to get around. A report released by Transportation for America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership found more than 43,000 pedestrians nationwide have died this decade due to what the authors say are inadequate crosswalks and safety features for pedestrians. Some feel the roads aren’t safe for pedestrians, bicyclists or people with disabilities.
Pedestrians are nearly always awarded the right of way in Colorado unless, for example, leaving the curb or a safe place, entering the path of a moving vehicle and causing immediate danger.
Some of the revised Colorado Statutes on this topic can be found here:
Seriously injured victims struck by careless drivers through pedestrian injury accidents and bicycle accidents will be held responsible for their actions. Don’t be a victim, take action and contact an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney today!