Despite city and state government leaders spending millions of dollars to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety in Denver, the number of auto-pedestrian and auto-cyclist accidents continues to rise. In fact, hit and run cases involving pedestrians--accidents where drivers leave the scene--have nearly quadrupled in the last four years.
Some blame the drastic rise in hit and run collisions on the lenient treatment defendants appear to receive in court. Others talk about the need for the Denver community to embrace a culture of looking out for everyone's safety. Ironically, some of the dramatic rise in pedestrian/cyclist and auto collisions may be due to Denver's successful efforts to encourage its residents to walk and bike, rather than drive all the time.
In an effort to promote pedestrian and cyclist safety, Denver spent millions on wider, reflective crosswalk stripes and crossing lights that tell pedestrians how much time they have to cross. Denver also added 100 miles of bike lanes since 2009. In May of this year, the "Heads Up" public safety campaign was launched to urge people to be alert on the streets--drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists--and to look out for each other.
Nonetheless, the number of auto-pedestrian and auto-cyclist accidents in Denver remains on the rise. Your Denver automobile accident attorney says, it is important as a driver that you know what to do immediately after an accident with either a pedestrian or a cyclist. Below are some basic guidelines:
1. Safety first: get any injured people to a place of safety
2. Get medical and legal help: contact the police, medical care providers and
auto insurance providers; if any criminal liability may be involved (e.g. DUI)
try to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible
3. Exchange information with the pedestrian or cyclist (as long as they are not
incapacitated), but limit the information given to your name, number, and
4. Contact your Denver automobile accident attorney
The best way to bring down the number of auto-pedestrian and auto-cyclist accidents is to remember that individuals not in a vehicle are extremely vulnerable and more likely to be seriously injured when in an accident. It is also worth bearing in mind that pedestrians are often children and the elderly who tend to be less aware of street signals and less likely to stay within cross walks. Children especially cannot be counted on to obey traffic signals and crossing lights. When driving in an area or neighborhood where there are a lot of children, driving slowly and defensively can prevent a tragedy. If we all really do keep our "Heads Up" and our eyes open for pedestrians and cyclists, the roads will be a lot safer.
Bicycle accidents can happen seemingly out of nowhere. Properly handling the resulting injuries immediately following an accident can be crucial. If you have had an accident involving a pedestrian or a cyclist, contact your Denver automobile accident attorney at Levine Law today.