Rules of the Road: Colorado Bicycle Passing Laws

To avoid bicycle accidents, motorists and bicyclists must abide by the rules of the road in Colorado, such as those pertaining to passing a bicyclist who is riding on the side of the road. If an accident does occur, injured bicyclists can consult a Denver injury attorney.

Colorado Bicycle Passing Laws

According to the rules of the road in Colorado, motorists who are sharing the same lane as a bicyclist traveling the same direction when there is oncoming traffic are not allowed to pass. There is an exception to this, though.

Two elements must be in place for a motorist to pass. The first is that passing a bicycle wouldn’t infringe upon an oncoming vehicle’s space. That vehicle must have at least one-half of the main-traveled portion of the roadway.

The second element is that passing allows for at least three feet distance between the vehicle and the bike. This is not three feet from the side panel or door of the vehicle, but from any projections on the vehicle, such as a mirror.

Drivers who violate this passing law can receive traffic citation. This could be used as evidence in Denver by an injury attorney in Colorado, who can help pursue damages after a bicycle accident.

Types of Passing Accidents

Although an accident can happen on any section of roadway, intersections tend to be especially dangerous areas. This can be the result of heavy traffic and difficulty seeing a bicycle.

Accidents can happen when a bicyclist decides to pass a motor vehicle, too. For instance, the rider decides to pass a vehicle that is traveling slowly on the right. At the intersection the same vehicle then makes a right turn, either cutting the bike off or hitting the bike directly. This could potentially put fault with the bicyclist.

A right turn accident at an intersection can also happen when a car passes a bicycle and then turns into it or cuts it off while turning right. In this type of accident, it is generally the fault of the motorist. In the event of an accident, a Denver injury attorney can help Colorado bicyclists evaluate and establish fault based on any violations of the rules of the road in Colorado.

Liability for a Bicycle Accident

When passing appears to be the cause of a bicycle accident, the motorist’s insurance company may try to put blame on the bicyclist. One way is by saying the bike wasn’t far enough to the right.

However, even if that was true, it is still the motorist’s responsibility to only pass when it is safe to do so. If enough space wasn’t allowed between the car and bike when passing, then it may be determined that the driver was at fault for violating the rules of the road in Colorado.

Sometimes liability is clear-cut. But in certain circumstances this isn’t always the case. If a bicyclist has been seriously injured in a collision and it’s believed the motorist was responsible due to unsafe passing, it can be beneficial to contact a Denver injury attorney.

In Colorado, D.J. Banovitz can help individuals who have been in bicycle accidents. He is an avid bicyclist who understands the rules of the road in Colorado and the impact they may have on an accident.