May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As the second to last month of Spring, typically we see warmer temperatures, and sunnier days. And in Colorado, a state known for its natural beauty and dramatic landscapes cherished by motorcycle enthusiasts, that means we can expect to see an increase in the number of motorcyclists on the road.
Motorcyclists love Colorado, and that’s especially true of the Pikes Peak area, where a variety of different terrains, from mountains to plains, offer a multitude of exhilarating riding experiences for riders of all ages and skill levels.
And after an extended period of time where many of us were forced to isolate due to the global pandemic, many newcomers have developed an interest in motorcycles. In fact, reports have shown that the motorcycle industry as a whole, actually showed improvement during the pandemic, as a number of people turned to riding as a new way to get out into the world.
It should be noted that this boom in interest in motorcycles will also mean an increase in the number of new riders taking to the road, so we should all be prepared, and expect to see and share the road with some possibly inexperienced motorcycle riders.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Compared to riders in passenger vehicles, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a traffic crash. This leads to an over representation of motorcycle riders in fatal traffic crashes, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Because of the inherent nature of their design, motorcycles leave their riders far more susceptible to being seriously injured in a crash, than with vehicles that completely encase the passengers. So when something goes wrong and an accident occurs, riders tend to be more gravely injured. And things unfortunately go wrong far too often.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019 alone, 5,014 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents. In 2017, motorcyclists made up 14% of all traffic fatalities, despite making up only 3% of all registered vehicles.
Safety and Preparation
There are a number of precautionary measures that riders can take to better protect themselves from the serious consequences of a motorcycle accident.
First of all, preparation is important! And that means making sure you have the right gear, and the right training to make sure you’re prepared to hit the road.
New riders should be sure to take a motorcycle riding course to be sure they learn the basics, and even more experienced riders often benefit from a refresher course.
Getting your motorcycle license is a great way to get thorough training, and in the state of Colorado, you have to have a license to legally ride.
Despite the importance of getting a motorcycle license, in 2019 30% of the riders involved in fatal crashes, did not have a valid motorcycle license.
Also, it’s important to make sure that you have the right motorcycle gear, including a jacket and pairs of pants, boots and gloves that are sufficient to protect you, just in case you end up making contact with the pavement. And of course, the right helmet is very important as well.
Make sure you wear a Department of Transportation compliant helmet every time you ride. Studies have shown that motorcycle helmet use reduces the risk of sustaining a serious head injury by 69%, and helps reduce the risk of fatality by 42%.
Despite the benefits to safety that proper helmets provide, the NHTSA reports that almost 30% of all riders in the U.S. don’t wear a DOT-compliant helmet.
What Drivers Can do
Drivers of passenger cars and other types of motor vehicles, have a part to play in helping make the road safer for motorcyclists as well.
Most drivers are used to looking out for other cars and trucks on the road, but not quite as used to looking out for motorcycles, and this shouldn’t be a surprise, as there are far more cars and trucks on the road than motorcycles.
But that tendency to forget to watch for riders, coupled with the decreased visibility of most motorcycles, means that riders are inherently more at risk, on top of not having the added protection of an enclosed vehicle.
Drivers should train themselves to look for motorcycles, and always check blind spots before changing lanes or making a turn. It’s also important to remember that motorcycles react faster than larger vehicles, so learn to expect to have to react quickly when you are sharing the road with a rider, and make sure you use your turn signal and communicate your intentions as clearly as possible.
Contact Our Colorado Springs Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
Have you or a loved one been injured by the negligent actions of another person while riding a motorcycle? Are you concerned you won’t have the money to pay medical bills and lost expenses? If so, you need an experienced Colorado Springs motorcycle accident attorney on your side to help you fight for justice.
Contact the dedicated attorneys at the Green Law Firm, P.C. today by calling (719) 694-8515, or by filling out the contact form on this page, to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and discuss your case.