In 2022, the number of motorcycle accident deaths in Colorado was higher than it had been in 20 years. The Colorado Department of Transportation recorded 149 motorcyclist deaths in 2022, representing 20 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state. If you operate a motorcycle in Colorado, our Denver motorcycle accident lawyers recommend it is critical to be proactive about your safety. The actions you take and do not take can affect your catastrophic accident risk.
Speeding is one of the most common causes of fatal motorcycle accidents. Traveling too fast for conditions on a motorcycle can lead to a loss of vehicle control, especially around corners. Speeding can increase the odds of an accident; you may be unable to stop your motorcycle in time to prevent a collision if a car abruptly stops in front of you. If you panic and hit the brakes too hard while speeding, you could eject yourself from the bike. Always obey speed limits and reduce your speed even below the posted limit in dangerous conditions.
Obey Traffic Laws
Traffic laws are in place for a reason. They keep motor vehicle activity predictable among road users and prevent traffic from intersecting. If you break a traffic law while riding a motorcycle, you put yourself at risk of a serious or catastrophic accident. Obey all roadway rules, traffic signs and signals, and rights-of-way laws.
While on a motorcycle, you can ride two abreast in the same lane with another motorcyclist. However, you may not share a lane with a motor vehicle. If you wish to pass a car, you must enter the neighboring lane to pass rather than passing in the same lane. You also cannot ride on the line between two lanes of same-direction traffic in Colorado (lane splitting).
Wear Protective Gear
Motorcyclists are prone to catastrophic and permanent injuries in traffic accidents due to the fact that they are relatively unprotected. Unlike motor vehicle drivers, motorcyclists do not have a metal shell, seat belt or airbag available to prevent injury. As a motorcyclist, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of injury as much as possible in the event of an accident.
Always wear the correct safety and protective gear when riding a motorcycle. This includes a motorcycle helmet that fits correctly and has been approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Look for the DOT sticker on the helmet that you purchase.
A helmet is the most reliable protection against potentially fatal brain injuries in a motorcycle crash. In Colorado, 75 of the 149 motorcyclists who lost their lives in 2022 were not wearing helmets. Other protective gear includes gloves, a jacket, pants and boots.
Always Ride Sober
Never attempt to operate a motorcycle if you have imbibed in alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substances. Riding a motorcycle under the influence is against the law in Colorado. It is also a significant crash and injury risk. Nationwide, 41 percent of fatal single-vehicle motorcycle accidents in 2021 involved alcohol impairment – a higher percentage than any other type of motorist.
What to Do if You Get Injured in a Catastrophic Motorcycle Accident
Unfortunately, no matter how safe you try to be while operating your motorcycle, you cannot control the actions of motorists around you. If you get involved in a serious or catastrophic motorcycle crash in Colorado, contact a Denver personal injury lawyer at Manning Law to schedule a free case consultation. You may be eligible for financial compensation from one or more parties.