Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents That Often Lead to Serious Injuries
Although only about three percent of all vehicles on Colorado roads are motorcycles, motorcycle fatalities are nearly a fifth of all traffic fatalities. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), traffic accidents resulted in 103 motorcyclist deaths in 2018.
Many factors can help cause a Colorado motorcycle accident, including:
- Speeding. When automobile drivers exceed the posted speed limit, they typically do not have enough time to reduce their speed or respond to the actions of the vehicles around them — especially motorcycles, which can be harder to see than other vehicles because of their smaller profile.
- Difficulty stopping. Motorcycles are harder to stop than automobiles, primarily because the front and rear wheels use separate brakes. Both braking too hard and not braking hard enough can cause a motorcycle to veer out of control and cause an accident.
- Reduced visibility. Dusk is the most dangerous time to drive a car or ride a motorcycle because the eyes of drivers and riders are making the adjustment from daylight to darkness. When darkness has fallen, it can be harder for a motorcyclist to see debris on the road.
- Hazardous road conditions. With just two wheels and limited protection, a motorcycle is more vulnerable to poor road conditions than most other vehicles, and most roads are not designed with motorcycle safety in mind.
- Rider impairment. About 43 percent of all motorcycle accidents involve alcohol, which reduces a rider’s ability to operate a motorcycle safely. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, “37 percent of motorcyclists who were killed in single-vehicle accidents in 2016 were alcohol-impaired and 55 percent of motorcyclists killed in single-vehicle crashes on weekend nights were alcohol-“
- Poor maintenance. Like an automobile, a motorcycle requires regular maintenance so that it can continue to be operated safely and properly. Washing, detailing, and changing the oil can expose problems and keep it running efficiently.
- Lack of experience. Many motorcycle crashes can be attributed to lack of experience and a failure to appreciate the nature and limitations of a motorcycle. Motorcyclists must remain alert and be aware of the right of way at intersections, where most accidents involving motorcycles occur.
- Lack of proper training. Training is one of the best ways to stay safe and reduce the risk of injury while riding a motorcycle. In Colorado, the State Patrol conducts the Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) program. Instructors and classes affiliated with MOST are available throughout the state.
Reducing Motorcycle Accidents in Colorado
All motorists should watch out for motorcycles, just as all motorcyclists should drive defensively, observe speed limits, and be aware of the vehicles around them. The purpose of the CDOT’s 2019 statewide motorcycle safety campaign is to inform motorcyclists about the importance of wearing proper safety gear, including boots that cover the ankles, gloves, eye protection, and DOT-approved helmets. The CDOT also urges new riders to obtain professional training and urges veteran motorcyclists to take refresher courses every few years.
Contact an Experienced Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a parking lot accident, contact personal injury attorney Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 or (800) ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.