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Colorado Pedestrian Laws

Colorado Pedestrian Laws

Colorado Pedestrian LawsColorado has a lot of pedestrian-friendly cities with walkable neighborhoods. However, pedestrian accidents are still a widespread problem throughout the state. When communication between pedestrians and drivers is smooth and both sides know their obligations, everyone gets where they need to go—but when there’s a mismatch, tragedy is bound to follow. It’s important for drivers and pedestrians alike to understand the laws that govern their time on the road. If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. Call Colorado Accident Attorneys at 303-567-7981 to set up a consultation now.

Preventing pedestrian accidents is a top priority across the country. While pedestrian collisions make up a very small portion of all vehicle crashes, they are disproportionately represented in fatalities. Pedestrians have absolutely no protection when they’re hit by a car, so they’re at significant risk of severe or fatal injuries. In 2023, there were over 7,500 fatalities. This is the highest we’ve seen since 1981. Experts indicate that this trend is due in part to a growing number of SUVs on the road, unsafe infrastructure, and an uptick in distracted driving that started with the pandemic. In the unfortunate event of a pedestrian accident, seeking the guidance of a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer is crucial to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Pedestrians’ Rights and Responsibilities

Pedestrians have certain rights when they’re out and about. However, with rights come responsibilities. It’s important for pedestrians to remember both in order to avoid collisions. One of the most widespread rights of pedestrians is the right of way at crosswalks, which is part of Colorado law. What obligation do pedestrians have in this area? Whenever possible, they are expected to use crosswalks, rather than cross the road wherever they want. When pedestrians cross through traffic instead of using an available overhead crossing or tunnel, they should yield right of way to vehicles. They are also required to follow “walk” and “don’t walk” signals at intersections that use them.  Understanding pedestrian rights and responsibilities is essential for safety on the roads. In the unfortunate event of a collision, consulting with a knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyer can help navigate legal complexities and secure rightful compensation for any injuries sustained.

Drivers’ Obligations to Pedestrians

Vehicle drivers have substantial protection. When they are involved in a pedestrian collision, there is minimal chance they will suffer any injuries—at worst, they may expect some vehicle damage. Because of this, they have significant obligations to pedestrians and bicyclists. Drivers are expected to yield to pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks. At stop signs and flashing red lights, they are also required to yield to pedestrians. When a car stops to allow a pedestrian to cross, the vehicle behind them cannot go around them to avoid stopping. Drivers are also expected to watch “walk” and “don’t walk” signs, as these supersede their traffic signals. For example, if someone is waiting to turn right but pedestrians have a “walk” signal in the crosswalk they need to drive through, drivers must wait until the walkway is clear.

Special Considerations for Pedestrians

Make no mistake of it—pedestrians are expected to follow the law and do what they can to protect themselves from collisions. However, responsibility ultimately lies with drivers. The Colorado Driver Handbook indicates that drivers must yield right of way to pedestrians in all situations—even when the driver should have right of way.. Even if a pedestrian does not have right of way, a driver cannot just barrel through and keep on driving. This is likely to lead both to a personal injury lawsuit and criminal charges.

How These Laws Affect Liability

Pedestrian laws often come into play when an accident occurs. When police report to the scene of the accident, they’ll listen to both parties and get their side of the story. Depending on what they find out, they may issue citations to one or both parties. These citations can be used by both parties’ insurance companies to determine liability. For example, if you are hit in a pedestrian crash and the driver gets cited for running a stop sign, that serves as strong evidence that they were not taking reasonable steps to uphold their duty of care to you.

This is just one reason you must follow all applicable laws when walking in Colorado. When you get hit by a car, whether you’re right or wrong really only affects your personal injury claim. It’s better to protect yourself, step back, and avoid getting hit than it is to assert your right to cross and get hit by a distracted driver. Being safe is more important than being right.

Choose Colorado Accident Attorneys for Your Pedestrian Accident Case

Ready to find out if you’re entitled to compensation after a pedestrian accident? Let’s talk about your options and next steps. Reach out to our team online or give us a call at 303-567-7981.

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