Navigating Colorado’s Roads Safely: Avoiding Common Accidents
POSTED BY Scott O’Sullivan
July 7, 2023
If you were an insomniac and someone told you that there were just a few easy things you could do to get consistent, blissful rest, you would take those steps, right? So, what if I told you there are a few easy things we could each do to prevent accidents on Colorado roads?
These crashes injure and kill people on our roads every day. Shouldn’t we all do our best to avoid the activities that lead to these tragedies? Yes. Yes, we should.
In this article, I’m going to write about the most common causes of car accidents, bicycle accidents, big truck accidents, and pedestrian accidents, along with practical, easy steps to avoid them. This is particularly important in Colorado, where a diverse range of road users coexist.
By being mindful, cautious, and following some essential safety tips, we can all prevent accidents and contribute to safer roads for everyone.
Common Causes of Colorado Car Accidents
Colorado is set to break another horrible record for traffic fatalities. Last year, 745 people lost their lives on Colorado roads! That is just unconscionable. How can we accept that our roads are so deadly? But sadly, 2023 is on track to be even worse than 2022. If we all followed a few easy tips, our roads would be safer.
Don’t Drive Distracted: One of the leading causes of car accidents is driver distraction. Avoid using mobile phones, eating, or engaging in any activity that diverts your attention from the road.
Don’t Speed: Excessive speed reduces your ability to react to unexpected situations. Observe speed limits and adjust your speed according to road and weather conditions.
Be Cautious During Left-Hand Turns: Some of the worst accidents in Colorado occur when drivers attempt left-hand turns in front of oncoming cars. Usually, the oncoming car has no chance to brake and the destruction is like a bomb went off. Don’t attempt left-hand turns unless the way is completely clear.
Don’t Drive Impaired: Never get behind the wheel if you’ve consumed alcohol, drugs, or any substance impairing your judgment. Always have a designated driver or use alternative transportation options.
Follow Posted Rules: If you transition from a major thoroughfare to a neighborhood, check all the road signs. It’s important to obey traffic laws, including speed limits, traffic signals, and stop signs.
Give Yourself a Brake: Maintain a safe following distance to provide ample time to react to sudden changes.
Communicate Your Intentions: Use turn signals to alert others to your next moves. Also, check blind spots, and be cautious while changing lanes.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Denver
Both car drivers and bicyclists contribute to bicycle crashes in Colorado. Just today, I saw a biker riding down 8th Avenue in the center lane, practically daring traffic to run him over. That is a completely insane thing to do. In car-on-bike crashes, the biker always loses.
So, I have some tips for both bikers and drivers.
Yield to Bikers: Drivers often fail to yield to cyclists at intersections or while making turns. Give cyclists the right of way and be patient.
Make Yourself Noticeable: Cyclists can be vulnerable because they are hard to see. If you ride a bike, ensure you have working lights and reflectors on your bicycle, especially during low-light conditions.
Gear Up: Wear a properly fitted helmet.
Obey the Law: Follow traffic rules, including signaling turns, obeying traffic signals, and riding in the same direction as traffic.
Ride Defensively: Be attentive to parked cars and anticipate doors opening unexpectedly.
Ride Like You’re in a Bubble: Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, especially large trucks and buses.
Common Causes of Big Truck Accidents in Colorado
Big truck crashes in Colorado tend to make headlines because the devastation can be tragic. Some of the worst big truck crashes in Colorado occur on I-70 during nasty weather. When I’m driving into the mountains, I always use extra caution around tractor-trailers. Here are some tips to stay safe around big trucks.
Stay out of Blind Spots: Large trucks have significant blind spots, making it harder for drivers to see nearby vehicles. Avoid lingering in their blind spots and give them ample space.
Beware of Improper Lane Changes: Truck drivers occasionally fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes, resulting in collisions. Stay visible and avoid sudden lane changes around trucks.
Don’t Tailgate: Following large trucks too closely can lead to accidents, as they require more distance to stop. Maintain a safe following distance to allow for adequate braking time.
Merge Slowly: Avoid cutting off or merging abruptly in front of a truck.
Make Room: Give trucks extra space during turns, as they require wider turning radiuses.
Pass Cautiously: Pass trucks with caution and only when you have ample space and clear visibility.
Be Gracious: Be patient and allow trucks to merge or change lanes when necessary.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in the Denver Area
These are typically the accidents that end the most tragically. Sadly, we have far too many pedestrians hit by cars in Colorado. Like bicycle crashes, both parties involved in pedestrian crashes can be at fault, but invariably, the car comes out better off.
Here are some tips for both drivers and pedestrians to avoid crashes.
Yield: Drivers often fail to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks or when making turns. Always prioritize pedestrians’ safety and yield the right of way.
Don’t Drive Distracted: Being distracted while driving can lead to accidents involving pedestrians. Avoid using electronic devices or engaging in other distracting activities.
Stay Alert: Always be alert for pedestrians, especially in busy areas or near schools.
Slow Down: Reduce speed in residential areas and around parks or playgrounds.
Crosswalks Mean People: Stop completely at crosswalks and allow pedestrians to cross safely.
Adjust for Weather: Use extra caution in adverse weather conditions, as visibility may be reduced.
Do Not Jaywalk: Pedestrians must also exercise caution and adhere to traffic rules. Cross roads only at designated crosswalks and obey pedestrian signals.
Look Both Ways: Even when the crosswalk signal says it’s ok to proceed, look left and right to make sure no cars or bikes are approaching.
Don’t Walk Distracted: Get those headphones off, take out the ear buds, and pay attention to your surroundings. It is amazing how many pedestrians walk right into intersections without checking for oncoming cars.
Easy Steps Save Lives
None of the above tips require heroic strength, superhuman sensory powers, or fancy technologies. They just require that we each care enough to make Colorado’s roads safer.
Remember, road safety is everyone’s responsibility, and together, we can create a safer environment for all road users. Stay vigilant, drive responsibly, and always prioritize the well-being of others. And always contact a car accident lawyer if you’ve been injured.