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How risky is it to bike ride on city streets in the Denver area?

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2020 | Injuries

Bike riding goes hand-in-hand with the community culture in Denver. It is active, trendy and environmentally aware. Unfortunately, cycling can also be relatively dangerous. A crash can occur through no fault of the cyclist because of negligence on the part of people in motor vehicles.

When a car and a bike collide, the cyclist may suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries while the people in the vehicle may walk away without so much as a scratch on them or even serious property damage to the vehicle. How likely are you to experience a serious crash as a cyclist in Denver?

Denver has a somewhat high rate of fatal cycling collisions

Tracking all cycling accidents is a difficult prospect, as police may only make permanent records of crashes that result in injury or more than $1,000 a property damage. Cyclists and drivers may not contact police over more minor issues, even if the cyclist gets hurt in the collision. Even in collisions where a bike becomes totally destroyed by someone’s vehicle, the damage may not exceed that thousand-dollar threshold.

As such, looking at the rate of fatal crashes between bikes and cars may give you a better idea of the potential risk involved. According to statistics provided by the Denver local government, roughly 1.5 bicyclists die annually in Denver per every 10,000 bicycling commuters. That figure is on par with the rates of cyclist deaths in Chicago and Atlanta.

However, this data is actually several years old, and recent trends in crashes have indicated that cyclist and pedestrian deaths are on the rise, so the risk could be higher now than when Denver initially released the report cited above.

Cyclists deserve safety when they share the roads

There are already laws in place that require that those in motor vehicles pay attention to road circumstances to maximize safety for everyone, including cyclists. Unfortunately, many people in cars simply don’t look for cyclists, which means they don’t notice the risk until it’s far too late.

Those who get hurt while biking, as well as those who lose a loved one in a fatal vehicle collision with a bicycle, may have grounds to bring a lawsuit against the driver who caused that crash.