COLORADO SPRINGS — As warmer weather is in the near forecast for Colorado, we'll see more two-wheel enthusiasts on our streets, highways, and interstates.
Unfortunately, El Paso County has led the state in motorcycle fatalities in recent years. The majority of the crashes are single-vehicle crashes. “In other words, it only involved a motorcycle, which means it was most likely the motorcyclist's fault,” said Sam Cole, Colorado Department of Transportation, Traffic Safety Communication Manager. “They’re going too fast they’re riding aggressively.”
However, Cole points out motorcyclists are often at the mercy of drivers on the road who are normally keeping an eye out for larger objects or two headlights instead of one.
The most common scenario for a motorcycle and car crash happens when a driver is taking a left turn in front of a motorcycle they did not see. Slowing down and better attention to driving are important and simple solutions.
Riders on the less visible vehicles sometimes fall victim to distracted drivers, not being seen in a larger vehicle’s blind spot, wildlife encounters, or the very avoidable speeding or reckless driving incident.
No matter how big or small your vehicle may be, we all need to keep an eye out for motorcycles that always have a small profile on our Colorado roads.
CDOT offers these tips to motorists for how to avoid collisions with motorcyclists:
Allow extra space when following a motorcycle – use the ‘three second rule’ to ensure adequate distance.
- Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
- Motorcycles can be hard to see at a distance so use extra caution when turning left at an intersection.
- Check your mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
- Never drive distracted or impaired.
If you or someone you love is considering getting the required motorcycle endorsement from the state of Colorado or are already licensed, encourage them to check out state’s Motorcycle Safety Operator Safety Training program.
There are programs across the Pikes Peak Region and the state that offer training for beginners and advanced riders. As the basics of motorcycle operation are the same no matter whether you like dirt bikes, dual purpose, sport bikes, touring bikes and cruisers, you’ll learn what you need.
Don’t have a motorcycle yet, but want to earn that endorsement? No problem, schools offer a motorcycle and helmet as part of the training program. You just need to come prepared with basic safety gear.