Boulder Flatirons with bike in foreground

Cycling In Boulder, Colorado And What To Do if You Are In A Cycling Accident

Boulder, Colorado is an amazing place for cyclists.  With more than 300 miles of dedicated bikeways,  beautiful weather, and a culture of riding that includes commuters, recreational riders,  amateur and professional racers, there is something for all to enjoy.  Cyclists can pedal the bike paths around town, head up a canyon to Jamestown or Gold Hill, or ride the flats to Carter Lake.   Every day cycling is becoming more and more popular and the roads are seeing an increase in cycling traffic.  Given the large number of cyclists, it is important that bikes follow the rules of the road in order to gain the respect and consideration from motor vehicle drivers.   By the same token, motor vehicle drivers need to treat cyclists as equal partners in their use of the roadways.  The interaction between cyclists and motorized vehicles has been challenging as drivers resent cyclists who fail to follow the rules and cyclists resent drivers who fail to respect the cyclist’s right to equal use.   These interactions have resulted in confrontations that antagonize and polarize drivers and riders alike.

Most bikers feel vulnerable when motorized vehicles come close.  Most drivers are annoyed by cyclists that don’t hug the right side of the road or don’t ride single file when in a group.   When things go wrong and a cycling accident occurs between a bike and a car or truck, it is almost always the cyclist that suffers the most.  The  main culprit is speed.  Bad things happen to the human body when it is subjected to rapid changes in velocity.    Plus, the human body is no match for the metal and hardened plastic of  motorized vehicles.  Cyclist clothing, by its nature, is lightweight and provides very little protection from contact with hard surfaces.  Helmets are a necessity since they provide some protection to the human cranium.

If a cyclist is involved in a automobile or truck collision, it is very important that the scene be properly documented.  Often times there is very little physical evidence from which to reconstruct a bicycle accident.  Most of the time,  the motorized vehicle will show little or no sign of contact with the cyclist.  The disparity in mass between the bike and vehicle can make reconstruction quite difficult.  The bike should not be moved prior to the arrival of the police.  If possible, witness names and addresses should be obtained.  Eye witness testimony is often the most important evidence as to how a bicycle accident occurred.   The accident scene should be photographed, preferably with all involved bikes and vehicles at their final resting position after contact.  All skid marks from either the bike or the car should be noted by the police and photographed.   Any data from bike mounted computers should be saved.  All bicycle, bicycle parts, and bicycle clothing that show damage from the accident should be saved and photographed.  Any visible signs of injury such as road rash, contusions, lacerations, bruises, broken bones,  stitches, scars, should be photographed immediately and regularly thereafter.

Insurance information should be exchanged.  Medical payments coverage for the motor vehicle may pay for some or all of the cyclist’s medical bills.  The cyclist’s own motor vehicle coverage may provide medical payment benefits or health insurance may also be used.  Obtain legal advice prior to giving any recorded statements to any insurance company.  Obtain the care and treatment you need as soon as possible after a bike injury.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Mann & Maximon, LLC for more information.

Photo: Some rights reserved by Zane Selvans.