More school buses are popping up all over the streets in Denver. These large vehicles are great for parents who don’t have the time to driver their kids to work, but they can feel like a nuisance to the people sharing the road with them. Their daily commutes might feel longer if they go on streets where these buses either pick up kids or drop them off at school.
Cyclists have even more to worry about around this time of year. It’s the last few months before the weather turns cold and they have to pack up their bicycles for several months, and now they have to ride on the same road as these massive vehicles they can hardly make a dent in. As you start seeing more buses show up in your neighborhood and your usual path, you need to be aware of your rights as a bicyclist and what you need to do to avoid a serious injury.
Buses have several blind spots
Given how bus drivers can occasionally struggle to spot smaller vehicles driving alongside or behind them, you can imagine how difficult it is for them to see a bicyclist going near them. Arguably the most common blind spots that you could end up in are behind the bus, directly in front of the front bumper and to the right side of the vehicle. You would most likely end up in the last one given how Colorado expects cyclists to stay in the right-hand lane. If staying in the paved shoulder or the bicycle lane proves to be too hazardous, consider taking an alternate route or slowing down and maintaining a safe distance if you can’t pass the bus.
When the bus stops for kids, you stop too
Some cyclists think that they have the opportunity to pass the bus once it stops to pick up or drop off children. However, Colorado states that every person riding a bicycle has the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle. Since it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading children for drivers, it is also illegal for bicyclists. Children could be walking to and from the bus from either direction, so you could risk running into one of them if you attempt to pass the vehicle and put yourself in major trouble.
They may make other drivers more dangerous
A major problem with buses is that they can also create blind spots for any drivers near them. If a motorist is attempting to pass a bus by going in a different lane or speeds up once the bus driver changes lanes, they do not have a good chance of spotting you in time with the large motor vehicle blocking their view of you. You do not want to be on a road that has several drivers or a particularly impatient motorist driving near you and the bus. Consider changing routes or find a way to give yourself more distance from the bus.
Whether you are hit by a bus or car while cycling outside in Colorado, it can be difficult to heal physically and financially. Contact an attorney what specializes in bicycle accidents to help you with the recovery process.