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Motorcycle Accidents on the Rise

Motorcycle Accidents on the Rise

Colorado is known for its strong motorcycle community, not to mention the routes that make a rider itch to get out and hit the road. Unfortunately, Colorado is also a very dangerous place for motorcyclists. Across the board, motorcyclists have always been involved in more accidents—and more severe accidents—than those in standard passenger vehicles.

This issue has hit a peak in recent years, demanding action from legislators, drivers, and riders alike. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t wait to find out if you’re entitled to compensation. Call Colorado Accident Attorneys at 303-567-7981 to set up a time to talk.

The increase in accidents is not due to a lack of effort on the part of legislators and public safety professionals. Both at the state level and at the federal level, there have been numerous efforts to urge drivers to take motorcyclists’ safety seriously and drive cautiously around them. Motorcycles represent just 3% of Colorado’s vehicle registrations, but 20% of the state’s traffic fatalities. While drivers must do their part, riders are urged to wear their helmets, use other safety gear, and watch out for each other.

Why Motorcyclists Are At Greater Risk

It often comes as a shock to riders and drivers alike that motorcyclists account for 20% of all traffic fatalities in Colorado. But when you look at the differences between cars and motorcycles, it makes more sense. Vehicle occupants are surrounded by cars that are designed to absorb as much of the force of a crash as possible. While they are still at risk of severe and fatal injuries, the risk is decreased due to vehicle safety features. On the other hand, motorcyclists have no protection from the elements or drivers. The only protection they have comes from their helmet, and even that has its limits.

Additionally, motorcycles aren’t as structurally sound as cars. They are harder to balance, which means that they are more easily affected by uneven roads, dips in the road, and small obstacles. There are also specific insurance requirements for motorcyclists in Colorado.

Combine all of this with the fact that many drivers simply do not watch out for motorcyclists and it all makes sense. Drivers know to watch out for other cars, but motorcycles are so uncommon that they may not even consider that a smaller vehicle could be in their blind spot. Many preventable crashes happen simply because a driver does not look long enough to spot a motorcycle.

When Accidents Peaked

Research from the Colorado Department of Transportation indicates that collisions peaked in 2022. Final data from 2023 is not yet available, but experts are hoping that they will finally start to see this trend reverse. There were 149 fatalities in Colorado in 2022, a large jump from the previous year’s 137 deaths. The lowest number in recent history was in 2003, when there were just 70 motorcyclist deaths in Colorado. Although there have been slight dips in fatalities in the last couple of decades, the number has generally crept upwards over the years.

One issue, per the CDOT, is a lack of helmet usage. This isn’t just a Colorado issue—this is a nationwide problem. There was a significant drop in helmet usage between 2020 and 2021, and the presence of a helmet can literally mean the difference between a minor injury and a fatal or life-changing injury.

Most Dangerous Counties in Colorado

While deaths trended upward across the state, a handful of Colorado counties saw the greatest number of deaths. El Paso was the most dangerous, reporting 25 fatalities. It’s followed closely by Jefferson County with 19 deaths, Adams and Denver with 12 each, and Arapahoe with 11 deaths.

Protecting Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists deserve safety on the road just as much as anyone else. While riders can do their part by riding the speed limit, using appropriate safety gear, and avoiding peak travel times, much of it comes down to drivers. Drivers are those capable of inflicting the most damage, so it makes sense that they have the greatest responsibility to others on the road. Ongoing public safety efforts strive to help drivers be aware of motorcyclists and know what it takes to help them stay safe.

Choose Colorado Accident Attorneys for Your Accident Claim

If a motorcycle accident has left you injured and without options, it’s time to talk to the team at Colorado Accident Attorneys. Schedule your consultation right away by calling us at 303-567-7981 or contacting us online.

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