Little Known Colorado Traffic Laws and How They Can Impact a Car Accident Claim

Colorado laws that can affect car accident claims

Most Colorado drivers know traffic laws about speeding, running stops signs, and other common traffic laws. However, there are some relatively obscure traffic laws that they may not be aware of and could potentially be breaking the law without intent. Unfortunately, ignorance of the law does not qualify as a defense and can negatively impact your car accident claim. 

If you’ve been in an accident caused by another driver’s reckless or careless behavior, you may be entitled to compensation. Work with a skilled and trusted Colorado car accident lawyer to achieve the best possible results for your claim. 

6 Little Know Colorado Traffic Laws

All Colorado drivers need to know the following obscure traffic laws to prevent accidents and avoid potential insurance problems should they need to file a claim.

1. Chain Law Tire Requirements 

Under Code 15 of the chain law on state and federal highways, all Colorado vehicles are required to “have either snow tires, tires with the mud/snow (M/S) designation, or a four-wheel-drive vehicle — all tires must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread.”

2. Left Turn Laws

In Colorado, drivers are prohibited from turning left at an intersection if there is a car approaching from the opposite direction to which they need to yield the right of way. 

3. Move It Law

Colorado’s “Move It” law requires motorists involved in minor accidents and can safely do so to immediately move their vehicle away from oncoming traffic and to a safe location.

4. No Parking Zones

Colorado has distinct areas where no vehicle is ever allowed to park unless directed by law enforcement or in an emergency. The areas where no car can park are: 

  • Sidewalks
  • Intersections
  • Crosswalks
  • Between a safety zone and a curb
  • Railroad tracks
  • Bridges
  • Elevated structures
  • Highway tunnels
  • The roadway side at the edge or curb of a street
  • Next to or opposite a street excavation or obstruction
  • Between roadways divided by highways (including crossovers)
  • Controlled access highways

Additionally, vehicles are not allowed to park within five feet of a public or private driveway.

5. Parked Car Crashes

If you crash into a parked car in Colorado, you must attempt to find and notify the owner of the vehicle. If you cannot do so, you must call the police and leave a notice that the accident occurred. 

6. Think Before Merging 

A driver wanting to merge must first yield the right of way to an approaching vehicle and must avoid merging if doing so requires another car to slow down.

How Can These Little Known Colorado Traffic Laws Affect My Car Accident Claim?

Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that it can be determined that you and the other driver were committing negligent acts at the time of the accident and therefore share the blame. Under comparative negligence laws, the compensation you are due can be reduced based on how responsible you were for the accident. Since Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, under this law, if you or the other driver are found to be more than 50 percent responsible, that party forfeits any right to recover damages for their injuries.

The laws above might affect you if you were breaking any of them at the time of the accident. That infringement can be used against you. An insurance adjuster or judge can argue you were also behaving negligently by breaking the law (even if you didn’t know it) and can then reduce or deny your compensation.

Contact Our Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer at Mintz Law Firm

When you partner with Mintz Law Firm, you can be confident in your legal representation. We are committed to helping our clients recover maximum compensation so they can get the financial support they need and deserve to recover from their accidents. 

Fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation or call (303) 462-2999.

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