Some Lyft passengers may complain more about very slow Lyft drivers than speeding drivers. Passengers may not want to complain about a speeding driver because the driver could react in an unexpected way and take it out on the passenger. The passenger may also not even notice the driver is going too fast.
Unfortunately for others on the road, a speeding driver can increase the risk of an accident, injuring others on the road, including Lyft drivers, Lyft passengers, other drivers and passengers, bike riders, and pedestrians.
If you were involved in an accident with a speeding driver, talk to a lawyer about your rights. Lyft and the insurance company may try to deny your claim for damages. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will investigate your case and work to get you the maximum compensation after an injury accident in Denver. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Speeding and Increased Accidents in Colorado
Speeding is one of the most common factors contributing to accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2007, speeding was a contributing factor in 31% of all fatal crashes. More than 13,000 people lost their lives in speeding-related accidents.
Speeding can increase the risk of an accident and the seriousness of an accident in a few different ways. Traveling at a higher rate of speed increases the stopping distance needed to come to a stop. It also reduces the time a driver may have to respond to dangerous conditions ahead. Traveling around a corner at a high rate of speed can increase the risk of losing control of the vehicle, especially in wet or snowy conditions.
In Colorado, speeding is the second most common cause of fatality and injury accidents in Colorado from 2011 to 2014. The most common cause was reported to be inattentive driving. Unfortunately, inattentive driving is one of the inherent risks for rideshare drivers, including Lyft and Uber driving. In order to drive for Lyft, drivers have to use the rideshare app to accept, pick up, and drop off rides.
Who is at Fault for a Speeding Accident in Colorado?
Fault in a car accident is generally determined by negligence. When a driver breaches their duty of care to others on the road, which causes an accident, the negligent driver may be liable for damages.
Negligence can also be shown by violating a traffic law, like speeding. When a driver is speeding and speeding is a cause of an accident, the speeding driver may have been per se negligent by violating a traffic law that was intended to prevent such an accident.
Traffic Laws and Speed Limits in Colorado
Speeding laws in Colorado the basic speeding law, presumptive state speed limits, and posted maximum speed limits. Under the basic speed law, drivers are not supposed to drive faster than reasonable under the conditions.
Other speed limits depend on the type of road. Generally, state speed limits in Colorado are as follows:
- Narrow, winding mountain highways, or blind curves: 20 mph
- Any business district: 25 mph
- Any residential district: 30 mph
- Open mountain highways: 40 mph
- Open highways that are not a part of the interstate system and are not four‑lane freeways or expressways: 55 mph
- Surfaced, four‑lane highways that are a part of the interstate system or expressways: 65 mph
In some areas, the traffic limit may have a maximum posted speed limit of 75 mph.
The penalties for getting caught speeding may depend on the driver's speed and driving record. Technically, driving even one mile per hour of the reasonable and prudent speed is a Class A traffic infraction.
- 1 to 4 mph over the reasonable and prudent speed, or over the maximum lawful speed of 75 mph (Class A traffic infraction)
- 5 to 9 mph over the reasonable and prudent speed, or over the maximum lawful speed of 75 mph (Class A traffic infraction)
- 10 to 19 mph over the reasonable and prudent speed, or over the maximum lawful speed of 75 mph (Class A traffic infraction)
- 20 to 24 mph over the reasonable and prudent speed, or over the maximum lawful speed of 75 mph (Class A traffic infraction)
- 25 or more mph over the reasonable and prudent speed, or over the maximum lawful speed of 75 mph (Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense)
- 25 or more mph over the reasonable and prudent speed, or over the maximum lawful speed of 75 mph in a construction zone (Class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense)
- Driving at a speed that is not reasonable and prudent given road conditions (Class A traffic infraction)
- Driving at such a slow speed that the normal and reasonable forward movement of traffic is impeded (Class A traffic infraction)
- Exceeding a safe speed on a bridge or elevated structure (Class A traffic infraction)
Class A traffic infractions generally result in a fine and surcharge. However, Class 1 and Class 2 misdemeanors can result in a fine, jail time, paying restitution, and/or community service hours.
Lyft Driver Hit by a Speeding Driver
The Lyft driver may be the injury victim in a car accident. The Lyft driver may have been driving safely, following the traffic laws, when they are suddenly hit by a speeding driver. The Lyft driver should report the accident, including reporting the accident to Lyft and the driver's insurance company. Insurance coverage at the time may depend on whether the driver was on their own time, waiting for a ride on the app, or had a passenger in the car.
Lyft Passenger Hit by a Speeding Driver
When a Lyft passenger is injured in an accident involving another vehicle or the Lyft driver, the insurance coverage will generally be at the maximum Lyft primary insurance policy of up to $1 million per accident. The maximum insurance applies when there is a passenger in the vehicle on a Lyft ride.
Hit by a Speeding Lyft Driver
If you were injured by a speeding Lyft driver, your first step is to make sure to address any serious injuries. Even if you are not sure if you are seriously injured, it is better to be safe than sorry. Many head, neck, and spinal injuries take time to develop. These serious injuries may not show up for a few hours or even days later. Treating and diagnosing traumatic brain injury (TBI) or neck injury early can improve the chance of recovery.
The next part of dealing with any car accident generally means calling the police for an accident investigation. In minor accidents or when the police are not available, drivers may have to report the accident directly to the state. The accident also has to be reported to the driver's insurance company.
Lyft wants individuals involved in an accident with one of their drivers to fill out an incident form on their app. However, you may want to contact your lawyer and let them deal with Lyft and the insurance company. Letting Lyft dictate how your accident claim will be handled may not be in your best interest.
Are Lyft Drivers Encouraged to Speed?
Lyft claims to encourage safe driving. However, there are a number of Lyft Bonus programs that reward drivers for making a lot of trips in a set period of time. Drivers may be incentivized to speed or use unsafe driving practices to rack up trips and make more money in bonuses.
For example, the streak bonus rewards drivers for completing a chain of rides without taking a break, canceling rides, or missing a ride request. Other ride challenges may require a driver to complete a certain number of rides within a set time limit. The driver may feel rushed and have to speed over the legal limit in order to complete the challenge in time.
Inexperience and Traffic Violations by Lyft Drivers
Lyft drivers are supposed to be selected based on criteria including driver experience and drivers with a safe driving record. Unfortunately, the reality is that many Lyft drivers do not have a lot of experience and may not even know the traffic laws in Colorado. Lyft allows drivers who learned to drive out-of-state to operate as a carrier in Denver and Colorado. The driver may not be familiar with Colorado's speed limits, traffic laws, or even know how to drive in snowy conditions.
Speeding Lyft Drivers and Bike and Pedestrian Accidents
Speeding Lyft accidents can also involve pedestrians and cyclists. Unfortunately for the pedestrians and cyclists, an accident with a speeding car may have the driver walk away fine but the pedestrian or cyclist leaving in an ambulance.
Speeding Lyft drivers are often distracted by using the Lyft app, mapping their destination, or playing with their music selection. All of this is distracted driving and could take the driver's attention off the road. Distracted driving and speeding is a dangerous combination, which could lead to:
- Not noticing a cyclist ahead,
- Not leaving enough room to pass a bike,
- Failing to stop before a crosswalk,
- Failing to make a complete stop before turning through a red light,
- Failure to yield the right of way, and
- Failure to see the pedestrian when driving at night.
Denver Lyft Driver Accident Lawyers
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians throughout Colorado who were involved in an accident with a Lyft driver. Our experienced attorneys understand how the insurance and rideshare companies operate and will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.