It seems like every month there’s a new story of a bicyclist being struck while on the road by another vehicle. In some cases, the driver acted negligently and may have been speeding, inebriated/intoxicated, weaving, or distracted and caused the collision. In other cases, the bicyclist may have been at fault for not wearing the proper safety gear, running a stop light / red light, or a common tactic that spikes the chances of being hit by a car: lane splitting. If you’ve been involved in a bicycle lane splitting accident, you need a Denver personal injury attorney to represent you.
When a bicyclist, or motorcyclist, rides between two lanes on a road or highway amidst cars and trucks, it’s called lane splitting. It is done to get around vehicles that may cause congestion, and advocates of lane splitting say that it reduces traffic. Currently, in all of Colorado, lane splitting is illegal. The only time a bicycle, or motorcycle, can share the lane with another vehicle is when that other vehicle is also a bicycle, or motorcycle. Bicyclists are at a disadvantage compared to their motorized brethren, however: they don’t have the acceleration, nor speed, to get around vehicles properly and therefore increase their chances of being struck.
When lane splitting, a bicycle will likely be in the blind spot of a car, SUV, or truck for a few seconds — just long enough for a driver (who isn’t looking for a cyclist at the back third of their vehicle) to drift, shift lanes, or take a turn and strike the cyclist. There have been reports of truck drivers striking bicyclists, running them over, and continuing down the road as if nothing happened — they never saw the cyclist and because of the size and weight differences in the vehicles, they would have never felt it. As such, if we haven’t already stressed it enough, it’s imperative that cyclists follow the rules of the road, DO NOT lane split, and wear the proper protective reflective gear — especially at night.
Make sure your bicycle is equipped with the proper headlight, taillights, and pedal reflectors if you need to ride in the dark.
Denver is a beautiful city that can be appreciated in greater detail and navigated more efficiently (and healthfully) while on a bicycle, but lane splitting can cut the fun short very quickly. If an officer catches you, you won’t enjoy the ticket you’ll have to pay. If you feel you’ve been wrongly accused of lane splitting, or have been in a Denver bicycle accident recently, call our offices to speak with a Denver personal injury attorney and learn how we can protect your rights and earn you the financial compensation you may be entitled to.