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Auto Accidents: Tourists to Colorado

People who are not familiar with driving in Colorado may be a hazard to others on the road. While plenty of accidents are caused by Denver-area residents, out-of-town drivers and foreign tourists may have an increased risk of a crash. It can also be a hassle for drivers and pedestrians injured by tourists who live far away, dealing with their insurance company and rental car companies who may not want to pay out to cover the victim's damages. 

The attorneys at will investigate your case, deal with the insurance company and rental car company, identify all your losses, and work to get you the maximum compensation after an injury accident in Colorado. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Causes of Auto Accidents with Tourists in Denver

Auto accidents in Colorado can be caused by a number of factors. However, accidents involving tourists may be caused by different reasons, which include: 

  • Driver inexperience, 
  • Driving an unfamiliar vehicle,
  • Different traffic laws, 
  • Unprepared for snowy and icy conditions,
  • Unprepared for high sun and glare, 
  • Drowsy driving,
  • Driving under the influence of marijuana,
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, 
  • High-altitude impact, 
  • Distracted driving, 
  • Driving and following a map or navigation, and
  • Unfamiliar road signs. 

Tourists Driving in a Different State with Different Vehicles

The traffic laws in every state are different. However, the laws in the U.S. allow drivers who are licensed in other states to drive in Colorado. There are no Colorado traffic law tests drivers have to take when visiting or renting a car in Colorado but they are expected to follow the local laws, even if they do not know them. 

For example, drivers in Colorado can make a left turn on a red light at a one-way street, unless there is a sign that says otherwise. However, U-turns are generally prohibited in Colorado. In other states, drivers cannot make a left turn on red and U-turns are generally allowed (unless prohibited). This can cause confusion for drivers who are behind the wheel in a different state. 

Similarly, driving a rental car often involves driving an unfamiliar vehicle. This can include not remembering to turn on the headlights, driving a much larger vehicle, or slowing down with a different set of brakes. Anyone who drives around the airport may be familiar with out-of-town drivers who are driving erratically while trying to adjust their seats or the steering wheel. 

While out-of-town drivers can be driving perfectly safety in Colorado, the unfamiliarity with different vehicles and different driving laws can increase their risk of causing an accident.  

High Driving, Drunk Driving, and High Altitude

Visitors to Colorado may be surprised by how high altitude affects them. Visitors may also be surprised by the altitude when combined with drinking or smoking marijuana. These things (individually or combined) can increase the risk of an accident for out-of-town drivers. 

High Driving 

Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize recreational cannabis use. Since then, many tourists take advantage of Colorado's marijuana laws to buy pot, edibles, or even topical THC products. Tourists who are under the influence of drugs, including marijuana, can be involved in auto accidents. 

New or occasional users of marijuana may not be familiar with the strength or variety of cannabis strains, THC levels, or the delayed onset of edibles. Additionally, many tourists end up combining marijuana use with drinking, which can increase the level of impairment. Impaired driving increases the risk of an accident and may be the cause of many tourist-involved car accidents in Colorado. 

Drunk Driving

Colorado has a lot of great breweries. The Brewers Association (headquartered in Boulder), counted 9.2 breweries per 100,000 adults in Colorado, one of the highest rates in the country. Craft breweries in Colorado have a more than $3 billion impact on the state's economy. Of course, Golden is also home to Coors and there are a number of distilleries opening up in the Denver area, all combined to give tourists a lot of ways to imbibe. 

Many tourists go to brewpubs, distilleries, or out to restaurants with a rental car. Unfortunately, many also drive back to their hotels after drinking too much, putting themselves and others at risk of an accident. High altitude can also increase the impact of alcohol on a driver who is used to drinking at lower altitudes. 

Colorado Weather and Crashes

Colorado has some extreme weather that many tourists are not familiar with. High winds and tornados can surprise drivers. Others are surprised by the high sun we enjoy in Colorado, causing glare and making it difficult to see. However, snow and ice are some of the primary weather-related causes of accidents in Colorado. 

Drivers who are unfamiliar with winter driving may drive too fast for road conditions, not leave enough room for a safe braking distance, or not know how to react when tires spin or a vehicle loses control. Weather and tourists can combine to increase the risk of an accident for all drivers on the road in Colorado. 

Distracted Drivers

Many tourist drivers are distracted while driving, taking their attention off the road and increasing the risk of an accident. Distractions can come from looking at phones, mapping on their vehicle navigation, or even seeing a herd of elk on the side of the road. 

After an accident, drivers may not admit to being distracted while looking at their phones. An experienced auto accident lawyer will be able to get ahold of that driver's phone records and may be able to identify that the driver was using their phone at the time of the accident. 

Rental Car Companies and Insurance 

Insurance companies can be a pain to deal with but insurance after going through a rental car agency can be even worse. Car rental companies push their insurance coverage when drivers go to pick up the cars. However, those companies may be resisting payment when it comes time to cover an injury claim. An experienced accident lawyer understands how to deal with the rental car companies and insurance providers to get the maximum payout. 

Denver Auto Accident Injury Lawyers

The attorneys at have successfully represented their clients and families in Denver who were involved in a car accident with a tourist to get compensation for their losses. Our attorneys understand how the insurance companies and rental car agencies operate and will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.