The Most Common Ways That Bicycle Accidents Occur

Bicycle accidents are complex events with various contributing factors. However, the biggest threat to cyclists is drivers who do unsafe maneuvers and fail to look out for bicyclists.

People who are concerned about bicycle safety in Colorado can help by advocating for infrastructure improvements, additional bicycle safety laws, and more rigorous enforcement of existing traffic laws, especially DUI and distracted driving.

Failure to Yield

Failure to yield occurs when a driver does not give the right of way to a cyclist who is legally entitled to it. This can happen at stop signs, yield signs, or when a cyclist is proceeding through an intersection with the right of way. It may also occur when a driver enters a roadway from a driveway or turns across a bike lane.

When a driver fails to yield to a cyclist, it can result in a cyclist being cut off or hit by a vehicle. Drivers must be aware of their responsibilities on the road to ensure safety for all parties involved. To combat this issue, many cities are introducing traffic calming measures and educational campaigns aimed at increasing driver awareness of cyclist rights and safety.

Despite these efforts, failure to yield remains a persistent challenge, underscoring the need for continuous education and improved road-sharing practices.

The Dangers of Dooring

Dooring is a term used to describe a type of bicycle accident that occurs when a driver or passenger opens their car door into the path of a cyclist without checking for oncoming traffic. This can cause the cyclist to collide with the door, leading to severe injuries. Dooring is particularly dangerous because it happens suddenly, leaving the cyclist little time to react or avoid a collision. These types of accidents are common in urban areas where parking on the street next to bike lanes is prevalent.

To reduce the danger of dooring, some jurisdictions have introduced laws that place the responsibility to ensure the car door is safe to open on the person opening the door. For cyclists, awareness and preparedness are key to avoiding dooring accidents, which includes being vigilant of parked cars and their occupants when riding near them.

The Risks of Unsafe Lane Changes

Unsafe lane changes pose a significant risk to cyclists. These maneuvers can be dangerous when drivers do not properly check their mirrors or blind spots for cyclists before changing lanes. Cyclists can be sideswiped or forced to do sudden, unsafe maneuvers to avoid collisions. The risk is elevated in heavy traffic conditions where drivers may neglect the presence of cyclists because they are more focused on other vehicles.

To reduce these risks, it’s essential for drivers to be educated about sharing the road and using appropriate signals when changing lanes. Cyclists should also stay alert and be prepared to take action. Protective measures such as wearing visible clothing and using bike lights can also increase a cyclist’s visibility to drivers.

Impacts of Poor Road Conditions

Poor road conditions are a major hazard for cyclists and can lead to accidents. Potholes, uneven road surfaces, debris, and lack of proper signage can cause cyclists to lose control and fall, potentially into the path of oncoming traffic. Roads that are not maintained can create an unpredictable environment for cyclists, who require smooth surfaces for safe travel. In areas with severe weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow, the risks become even more pronounced as these elements can exacerbate existing road damage and obscure hazards.

It is the responsibility of local governments to ensure that roadways are kept in good condition for all users, including cyclists. However, cyclists can further help protect themselves by being vigilant, avoiding known areas with poor road conditions when possible, and advocating for better community maintenance and cycling infrastructure.

The Role of Careless Drivers

Careless driving is a significant factor in bicycle accidents. When drivers are not fully attentive to the road, whether due to distractions such as mobile phones, navigation systems, or simply not paying attention to their surroundings, they may overlook the presence of cyclists. Being inattentive can lead to various dangerous behaviors, from swerving into bike lanes to failing to stop at crosswalks where cyclists have the right of way.

Driver carelessness also plays a role in aggressive driving habits such as speeding or tailgating, which can intimidate and endanger cyclists.

It’s critical for drivers to understand the potential impact of their actions behind the wheel and to always be vigilant for more vulnerable road users like cyclists. For their part, cyclists can be proactive in staying visible to drivers by using hand signals, wearing bright clothing, and always using lights after dark.

Colorado Has a Three-Foot Bicycle Passing Law

Colorado’s three-foot law mandates that motorists maintain a minimum distance of three feet when passing a cyclist on the road. This law was enacted to reduce the risk of collisions and ensure that cyclists have enough room to navigate safely. It applies to all roadways in the state and carries strict legal consequences for drivers who fail to give cyclists the room they’re entitled to.

Our Colorado Springs Bicycle Accident Lawyers Help Those Seriously Injured in a Bicycle Crash

The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., will help you get the money you need to cover your medical bills and other expenses by filing a claim or lawsuit against anyone who committed an act of negligence that contributed to your injuries.

The attorneys at our firm has been helping people in Colorado for over 25 years. Timothy Bussey received a Gold Client Champion Award from Martindale-Hubbell and has been featured in Super Lawyers Magazine. Timothy Bussey is also recognized as a Fellow by the Litigation Counsel of America.

Call (719) 475-2555 to speak with one of our Colorado Springs bicycle accident attorneys today.