Posted in Blog on September 4, 2014
Riding a motorcycle in Colorado is a popular activity, with registrations up year after year. In 2012, over 180,000 motorcycles were registered in the state alone, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, and there was an estimated 8.5 million bikes on the road across the country.
Despite the surge in popularity and the continued presence of motorcyclists on the roads, accidents are still far too common, and the results are often deadly. Colorado drivers are still not used to the presence of motorcycles in traffic, as evidenced by the number of accidents seen each year.
In late August 2014, a 53-year-old motorcyclist from Aspen was killed when another driver crossed out of his lane and into the victim’s lane, striking the motorcycle rider with his car and fatally wounding him. The driver’s negligence and larger vehicle, a Ford Focus passenger car, contributed to the deadly outcome for the motorcyclist.
While there’s never an absolute guarantee of safety on the road, you can help protect yourself and your passengers by following some simple safety guidelines.
Helmets have been shown to save lives, but the safety gear is not required for riders or passengers who are at least 18 years old under Colorado state law. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, two out of every three riders who died in a motorcycle accident were not wearing helmets. Don’t risk yourself or the life of someone else riding as your passenger by not wearing a helmet.
On the other hand, Goggles are required under state law and help prevent eye injuries and debris from clouding your line of sight, so make certain you’re in compliance and wear goggles every time you’re out on the road.
Even if you’re an expert rider, you can always learn something new. During motorcycle safety courses, you’ll be shown maneuvers that may just save your life in the event of accident or help you avoid one in the first place. Taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation certified training course may also speed up the process for your motorcycle endorsement on your drivers license.
Simply put, your motorcycle is at a disadvantage when compared to the much larger vehicles on the road. The sheer size and weight difference between your bike and most other motor vehicles makes you more likely to suffer serious injury in the event of a collision. Add to that, the lack of surrounding protection an automobile cage affords, and it’s easy to understand why the motorcyclist is already in greater danger.
As such, you should practice defensive riding at all times. Avoid being in the blind spot of other vehicles because your visibility is crucial for your safety. If you can’t see the other driver’s mirrors, it is likely that he or she cannot see you.
Don’t ride aggressively or make sudden lane changes, as you must give other drivers time to react to your movements, And, whatever you do, do not drink and drive. The Colorado DOT reported that 36 percent of the motorcyclists killed in 2011 were operating their cycles under the influence of alcohol, which is a deadly combination no matter the vehicle. Learn more at: www.zanerhardenlaw.com.