While understanding insurance for your vehicle is important, it is also important to know the laws of the road. Following the rules will protect you from fines, penalties, and license suspensions and revocations.
Colorado is an at-fault state. This means that if you cause an accident, you are responsible for the other party’s property damage and bodily injuries. If it is a partial fault between two parties, you can split the costs according to fault.
Colorado has a modified comparative negligence law, which means that your damages are reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident. If your fault is greater than the third party’s, you get nothing.2
An estimated 16 percent of drivers in Colorado are uninsured, which accounts for around 690,368 people. Insurance companies are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage, but you are not required to hold either uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
When you have more than one car on your policy, you can stack uninsured and underinsured bodily injury coverage. Your selected limit would be multiplied by the number of cars on your policy. If you have limits of $50,000 or $100,000 and two cars, the limits would increase to $100,000 or $200,000.
In Colorado, a DUI can stay on your record for five years. For the first offense, you could have your license suspended for four months. For repeat offenders with blood alcohol concentration above 0.15 percent, DUI interlocks are required.
Seat Belt Laws
Seat belts are required for drivers and front passengers. Colorado has only a secondary seat belt law, which means that it can only write a seat belt citation if there is another traffic citation. However, if the driver is under 18, the seat belt law is primary, which means that law enforcement can write a citation for not wearing a seat belt even if there is no other traffic violation.
Distracted Driving Laws
Colorado does not have a handheld ban for those over 18 years old. For drivers ages 16 to 18, any cell phone usage is banned. Texting while driving is illegal for all drivers, regardless of age. This is a primary enforcement. If you get caught texting and driving, you can be fined or even jailed if the incident involves injuries or death.
Teen Driver Laws
Teens and new drivers have restrictions that drivers with more experience do not. Those with learner’s permits must be accompanied by driving instructors, parents, legal guardians, or licensed adults 21 years or older in the front seat, buckled up.
Once teens receive their licenses, they cannot drive any passengers under 21 for the first six months unless a parent or other licensed driver over 21 is in the vehicle. After six months, one passenger under the age of 21 is allowed. Driving for medical emergencies is an exception to this law.
For the first year of having a license, drivers cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by an instructor, parent, or legal guardian. Driving to or from work or school is an exception to this law if drivers have a signed statement from their employer or school. Exceptions are also made for medical emergencies and emancipated minors.