In car/motorcycle crashes, 96 percent of the time, the motorcyclist sustained an injury, and motorcyclist deaths occur 28 times more frequently than other motorists’.
Without the safety of a large vehicle surrounding them, how can motorcyclists protect themselves? Here are some of the top ways to stay protected on the road:
- Always wear a helmet – and make sure it’s a good one. Riders without helmets are 40 percent more likely to suffer fatal head injuries. According to Consumer Reports, a full-face helmet approved by the Department of Transportation (look for the DOT sticker) is the best choice.
- Wear protective gear. In Colorado, motorcycle riders and drivers are required to wear protective eye gear. Also, leather and denim can protect you from road rash, and wearing bright colors can help you stand out to drivers who often say they simply didn’t see motorcyclists.
- Know Colorado traffic laws. Motorcyclists must follow all Colorado traffic laws that other vehicles must follow. Moreover, our state does not allow lane sharing with a car or overtaking a car in the same lane.
- Don’t speed. In fatal crashes, 34 percent of motorcycle riders were speeding, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.
- Never drink and ride. In 2016, one out of four motorcyclists who died in crashes were alcohol-impaired. Drunk motorcycling riding is just as, if not more, dangerous than drunk driving.
- Avoid bad weather. It can be even harder for motorcyclists to be visible in rain or snow, and bad weather can slow brake times for other drivers.
- Know the frequent danger spots for vehicle/motorcycle accidents. Cars making left-hand turns create some of the most dangerous situations for motorcyclists. Many accidents occurred when a car turned left in front of a motorcyclist going straight.
- Invest in training – it’s worth it. This is neither an inclusive list of every safety tip nor a replacement for professional safety training. Invest in your safety…it could someday save a life.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Drivers
Over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle, so it’s vital that drivers know how to avoid creating unsafe situations for motorcyclists.
- Double-check before you turn left. Many motorcycle/car crashes occur when drivers turn left in front of a motorcyclist they didn’t see.
- Know your blind spots. Your blind spot on the left is 650 feet, large enough to fit a small jet.
- Watch out for motorcyclists. Because of their small size, motorcycles can appear farther away than they are.
- Never share lanes. Motorcyclists often adjust in their lanes to avoid debris and wind effects, and you shouldn’t try to split a lane with them.
- Don’t tailgate a motorcycle. Leave plenty of room to brake if necessary.
- Always drive alert. You’ve heard it before, but don’t drink and drive and always avoid distracted driving.
In 2016, 125 Coloradans died in motorcycle accidents. Accidents are often preventable, and both motorcycle riders and drivers should prepare themselves to drive defensively.
If you or someone you love has been impacted by a motorcycle accident, we can help. At Norton Frickey P.C., we have years of experience navigating insurance paperwork and helping our clients get the compensation they need to cover their expenses.