Boulder boasts more than 300 miles of dedicated bikeways, which may be part of the reason 10.5% of the city’s population reports biking to work regularly. That’s nearly 20-times the national average. However, as impressive as this statistic is, it also means more bicycle and car collisions, many of which result in serious injury for the cyclist.
If you have been injured while riding your bike in Boulder, Louisville, or surrounding areas of Colorado, please contact Jeffress Law online or by calling 303-993-8685 to schedule a free and informative consultation today.
Boulder Bicycle Culture
Bicycling is one of the hallmarks of the Boulder lifestyle. You see bicycles of all types across the city, including in the following areas:
- Boulder Creek Path
- Highway 36 north from Boulder to Lyons
- Flagstaff Road
- Intersection of Baseline and Broadway near campus
From Lycra-clad road cyclists to students to tourists on rented B-cycles, riders of all sorts fill the streets of our city. The motorists, truck drivers, RTD bus operators and pedestrians mostly all share the road with cyclists courteously; however, accidents do sometimes occur regardless of our status as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in America.
Common Cycling Accident Injuries
Boulder is a bike-friendly community. Seven out of every ten Boulderites own a bicycle and a good number use theirs at least once a week. In between, other forms of alternative transportation, including walking, are the preferred method of travel for many in our city.
Similar to pedestrian accidents, accidents between bicycles and cars typically result in serious or even fatal injury. This can include:
- Injury to the head neck
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken or fractured bones
According to the Boulder Cycling Club, 75% of all deaths and permanent disabilities incurred during bicycle accidents result from brain injury. Helmet use is not required for bicycling in Colorado, but failure to wear one can impact your ability to collect fair compensation when injured in a bicycle accident. Regardless of helmet use, if you were injured by a motorist’s actions, Boulder pedestrian accident attorney Chris Jeffress is prepared to take your case as far as necessary to help you secure every penny you are due.
The City of Boulder reports that most accidents between bicycles and cars occur at intersections, and an alarming 60% are a result of motorists failing to look for cyclists. 23% of these accidents occur when a right-turning driver fails to properly check for cyclists in approaching bike lanes or on paths and sidewalks. In a city with such a large cycling population this is entirely unacceptable.
Potential Compensation in a Cycling Claim
In a claim against the party who is responsible for the crash, we will seek maximum compensation for all the ways the injury has affected your life. Compensation is commonly sought for:
- Loss of income from being unable to work
- Medical bills, both present and future
- Pain and suffering related to the accident and injury
- Physical rehabilitation costs
- Prescription medication costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Consult with Mr. Jeffress to find out if pursuing compensation is an option. As a cyclist, you may have been involved in a collision with a motorist or a pedestrian. Mr. Jeffress will evaluate your situation to see if liability lies with any of the involved parties.
Your Rights as a Cyclist
On your bicycle, you have certain rights and privileges afforded to you:
- You have the same rights as a motorist
- Riding two abreast is allowed in bike lanes as long as the flow of traffic is not impeded
- A motorist overtaking you must allow at least 3 feet between the side of the car and you
- You have the same rights as a pedestrian if you are riding or walking your bike through a crosswalk
- You can use the left turn lane when: You are turning left at an intersection or into a driveway; you are overtaking a slow vehicle; to avoid a hazard or dangerous road condition.
- By law you are supposed to provide an "audible signal" when overtaking a pedestrian
- You cannot ride on the sidewalk where it is prohibited to do so
As a cyclist, you must obey all traffic laws and signals. You are not supposed to ride through an empty intersection against the light, even though traffic is not present. You must make a full stop at a stop sign, and obey traffic lights.
You must also use the shoulder/right side of the road/bike path, unless it is unsafe to do so. For example, a hole or debris in these areas would be sufficient reason to safely move into a left lane. It would also be acceptable to use the left lanes if you were traveling down a one-way road, or making a left turn.
There are other laws pertaining to cyclists in Boulder. The main takeaway is to be courteous, obey traffic laws and share the road. The flipside of this is that motorists owe you respect and courtesy as well. If you think your bike crash was caused by someone else's negligence or recklessness, please consult our law firm at 303-993-8685. Mr. Jeffress has the knowledge, skill and experience to determine if someone should be held accountable for your injuries.
Safety Tips for Riding Your Bike around Boulder
A few safety measures help prevent accidents on your bike:
- Be visible. Wear bright-colored clothing, preferably with reflective features. When riding at dawn, dusk or night, affix a light to the rear and front of your bicycle. You may also want to stay to the left of your bike path, rather than squeezing yourself all the way over to the right. By staying in the bike lane but to the left of center, you may better discourage motorists from straying into your lane.
- Avoid sidewalks whenever possible. Sidewalk riding is sometimes prohibited. Sometimes it may be the safest option for you, which is something all cyclists must judge for themselves in the moment. But note that sidewalk cycling should be avoided when possible, since it can create unnecessary contact with pedestrians and may increase your risk of a vehicle collision as you cross driveways and crosswalks.
- Exercise basic riding rules. Don't ride while you are distracted. Keep your eyes, hands and mind on the ride. Ride in the direction of traffic, not against it. Signal your turns and lane changes ahead of time. Ride predictably and try to avoid surprising motorists.
Cyclists inform themselves of the risks of the road and then do what they can to mitigate those risks. You can't eliminate the chances of a collision or crash, but you can take steps to prevent them.
Call for a Free Case Assessment
Want to find out if you have a Boulder bicycle accident claim to pursue compensation for your injuries? Please call the local law firm of attorney Christopher Jeffress, at 303-993-8685, for a free case evaluation. Mr. Jeffress is available to take your call and answer any questions you have about your current situation. He fights proudly on behalf of people from across Colorado, including Longmont and Broomfield.