Colorado Motorcycle Fatalities: Stats and Safety Programs
Nearly one in five traffic fatalities in Colorado in 2009 were motorcyclists. In order to help combat those disheartening numbers, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has a number of programs in place aimed at riders of various skill levels. One of the higher profile campaigns has been “Live to Ride.”
The program is based on three tenets. Here’s the original text (with links to more detailed material) from the DOT website:
- Get Training: Lack of training is a factor in Colorado’s fatal motorcycle crashes. Motorcycle riders were found to be at fault in seven out of 10 fatal crashes.
- Ride Sober: Impaired riding is also a major problem: 40% of riders killed in motorcycle crashes in 2009 were under the influence of alcohol.
- Wear Proper Protective Gear: Nearly two-thirds of the riders killed in Colorado last year were not wearing a helmet or were wearing it incorrectly.
Even if you are an experienced rider, giving this info a once-over is a good a idea. While we wait for numbers for 2010 to be released, we can look at the numbers from 2009. It was a year that saw a decline in motorcycle fatalities, but there is more to the numbers than just that. This excerpt from elsewhere on the DOT website sums it up nicely:
After reaching a record of 98 motorcycle fatalities in 2008, the Colorado Department of Transportation reports that the state had a 10 percent decline in rider deaths to 88 in 2009. However, when compared to all traffic fatalities, the percentage of those that were motorcycle deaths actually rose slightly to represent 19 percent of Colorado’s motor vehicle fatalities, compared to 18 percent in 2008.
That’s the nearly one-in-five number we started off with.
There is nothing like riding a motorcycle through the countryside of Colorado, which makes it even more important to make it home safely so you can do it again. Practice basic safety, keep your wits about you, and don’t ride after drinking. Don’t become one of the faces behind next year’s statistics!
Image by CDOT, used under Fair Use: Reporting.