Warmer weather means motorcycles are hitting the road. With the heavy increase in traffic in our state over the past few years, the number of motorcycle crashes in Colorado is going up. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), motorcycle fatalities increased 30% from 2012 to 2018, and represent 16% of all traffic fatalities in our state. Nationwide, there were nearly 5,000 motorcyclists killed in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Motorcycle safety awareness is important not only for riders, but for the drivers who share the road with them. With this in mind, May has been designated Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
Safety for Riders
The Colorado State Patrol offers MOST, Motorcycle Operator Safety Training. The MOST program offers courses that you can use toward obtaining a motorcycle endorsement for your driver’s license. Riders will also find a ton of safety information on the MOST website. Here you can learn about helmets and other protective gear, motorcycle laws, riding sober, and even ways to get discounts on insurance. The site also offers resources like the Colorado Motorcycle Skill Rating Map, which helps riders choose routes based on difficulty and level of experience. For detailed information on the MOST program, see their annual report.
Riders can also find helpful safety information in the official Colorado Motorcycle Operator’s Handbook.
Safety for Drivers
It’s easy to lose sight of a motorcycle in your blind spot, so be extra careful when passing and changing lanes. Also, look for motorcycles when heading around curves, pulling onto roadways, or making turns. Don’t follow too close, and always keep your full attention on the road. It’s also a good idea to be familiar with routes that are popular with motorcyclists, so you can use extra caution in those areas. And be especially careful at night and other times of reduced visibility.
Motorcycle safety is the responsibility of everyone on the road. Together, we can make sure that Colorado motorcyclists live to enjoy the ride!