Colorado is a popular destination for motorcyclists, especially in the summertime. Even a highly experienced rider, however, can get injured in a motorcycle accident from having to share the road with negligent or reckless drivers. As a motorcyclist, you can do things to increase your safety and reduce your risk of accidents. Our team of experienced Denver motorcycle accident lawyers understand that while you cannot always predict a crash, you may be able to prevent a dangerous accident with these 10 safety tips.
1. Boost Your Visibility
First, focus on the things you can control – such as your visibility to other motorists. Many motorcycle-vehicle collisions take place because the driver of the passenger car fails to see or notice the smaller motorcycle. Wear brightly colored clothing and/or a neon reflective vest while riding to enhance your visibility.
2. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Never look at your phone, ride while tired or let your mind wander while operating a motorcycle in Colorado. Failing to dedicate 100 percent of your attention to the road and the driving task increases your risk of making a mistake that causes an accident, such as accidentally running a red light. Stay alert and focused at all times.
3. Ride Defensively
Riding defensively means operating your motorcycle in a way that allows you to identify hazards and potential crash risks before they occur. You should scan the road ahead of you, take quick looks down intersecting streets and be aware of the motorists surrounding you. You may be able to protect yourself against a collision by identifying a hazard while you still have time to avoid it.
4. Obey All Traffic Laws
Motorcyclists are subject to the same traffic laws and roadway rules as other motorists in Colorado. These include speed limits, stop signs, traffic lights and right-of-way laws. These laws are in place for your own safety. Breaking them can increase your risk of an accident by making your actions less predictable to the drivers around you.
5. Increase Your Following Distance
Rear-end collisions can be fatal for motorcyclists – as can crashing into the back of a motor vehicle from following too closely. If a loved one lost their life after a rear-end motorcycle accident, our Denver wrongful death lawyers have the skill and experience to represent your case. Increase the distance between your motorcycle and surrounding vehicles as much as possible. Giving yourself more space can enable you to brake safely without having to lay your motorcycle down if the car in front of you suddenly stops.
6. Wear a Helmet
Colorado law may not require the use of motorcycle helmets for riders 18 and older, but wearing one is still the best way to protect yourself against a serious or fatal brain injury in a motorcycle accident. A helmet significantly reduces your risk of a skull fracture, concussion, brain injury, face injury, dental injury and neck injury.
7. Use Other Protective Gear
Protective gear doesn’t stop at a helmet. You can protect most of your body by wearing other gear when you ride, such as thick pants, sturdy boots, long sleeves and a vest. Eye protection is also a legal requirement to operate a motorcycle in Colorado.
8. Check Your Motorcycle Before Every Ride
Motorcycle equipment and part breakdowns in transit can be deadly. Inspect your motorcycle before every ride. Look at the tire pressure, tread, wheels for bent or missing spokes, brake pads for wear, lights, and levers.
9. Watch the Weather
Bad weather can compromise your ability to safely control a motorcycle. Wet roads can cause hydroplaning, fog can suddenly block your vision, and snow or ice can be slick under your tires. Check the weather forecast before you head out to make sure you’re adequately prepared to be out in the elements.
10. Scan Ahead for Dangerous Road Conditions
Negligent drivers and bad weather are not the only accident risks – as a motorcyclist, you are also vulnerable to dangerous road conditions. A pothole, crack, storm debris, grass clippings, uneven surfaces and other unsafe conditions may not affect a standard motor vehicle, but can cause a motorcycle accident. Scan the road ahead of you as much as possible to notice and avoid road hazards.
If you get injured in a motorcycle accident in Denver, contact Manning Law to request a free case consultation with an attorney. Our Denver personal injury lawyers specialize in serious injury cases and have represented a range of motorcycle accident injury victims.