If you are the loved one of a motorcyclist, you have reason to be worried. Eighty percent of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That makes it all the more important for all motorists, on a bike or in a car, to be as cautious as possible.
While there are more motorcycles on Colorado roads, there are many more car drivers who need to pay attention to their blind spots and NOTICE motorcyclists. There were 194,129 motorcycles registered in Colorado in 2016, up from 184,174 in 2012, the Department of Revenue reported. Compare this with the number of new vehicles registered 193,653 new vehicles between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30 this year.
Motorcycle fatalities in Colorado are increasing. In 2016, 125 bikers died, up 15 percent from the year before, the Colorado Department of Transportation reported.
We’ve written about the common causes of motorcycle accidents before. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to crashes than other drivers. In 2007, the mileage death rate for motorcyclists in 2007 was 37 times greater than for passenger car occupants. Motorcycle safety also is an issue of increasing concern – fatalities involving drivers and motorcyclists increased 131 percent between 1998 and 2008, according to NSC.
What can Colorado drivers do to make the road safer for motorcycles?
- Allow greater following distance behind a motorcycle. Give as much room as you would for another car and then some.
- Drivers also must show extra caution in intersections. Most crashes occur when a driver fails to see a motorcyclist and turns left in front of a motorcycle.
- Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Always give a motorcycle the full lane width.
What can motorcyclists do to make the road safer for everyone?
1. Motorcyclists should avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
2. Motorcyclists should position their motorcycles to avoid a driver’s blind spot.
3. Motorcyclists must use turn signals for every turn or lane change.
4. Never ride side by side, it’s not safe for a wide variety of reasons, especially in bad weather. This is because you (and other riders) need room to dodge road debris, standing water or ice, loose sand or gravel, and cars that may not see you and come into your lane. You also need room in case you take turns a bit too wide or have a tire blow-out.
The Frickey Law Firm has helped injured motorcyclists and their families since 1958. We have offered advice about what to do, and what not to do, after an accident and the types of injuries we have seen.
We want to help you recover from your injuries and get you back out on the road. We understand it is part of who you are. If you, or a loved one, has been in a motorcycle accident, please reach out to us so we can offer a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Call 303-237-7373 or log on to our home page or click on the side of this screen to” chat with someone live.