The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has been issuing safety reminders as fatal motorcycle crashes are up 12 percent this year. Darrell Lingk, CDOT Director of the Office of Transportation Safety, stated that Colorado has seen a large uptick in motorcyclist fatalities, and the state is on track to exceed the number of fatalities from last year. Motorcycles account for 3% of all vehicles on the road, but make up for 23% of all deaths on Colorado roadways. CDOT has partnered with Grease Monkey, an auto repair chain, to remind motorists to watch for motorcyclists.
Grease Monkey Partnership
Grease Monkey has been placing safety stickers on vehicles receiving oil changes throughout Colorado. Over the next two months, Grease Monkey has estimated that 60,000 window stickers will be distributed to all drivers getting their oil changed. The ultimate goal is that the safety stickers will help get the message out and save lives. Wes Stephenson, president and chief operations officer for Grease Monkey, stated that Colorado roadway safety is every person’s responsibility. Stephenson is a motorcyclist himself and tells all riders and drivers to do their part to make the roads a safe place to drive and ride.
Grease Monkey will also be providing motorcycle information to stores across the state, and CDOT will be posting information on social media channels and running radio ads reinforcing the message of driving safely.
Despite there being lower traffic volumes at the beginning of the year due to stay at home orders, fatal accidents have been increasing in Colorado. CDOT has reported there have been 100 deaths due to motorcycle crashes so far this year. At this time in 2019, there were only 89 deaths due to motorcycle crashes. In all of 2019, there were 103 motorcyclists killed on Colorado roads.
CDOT Safety Guidelines
The fall riding season is here and riders are beginning to ride more often, so CDOT is urging drivers to take precautions to save a life. In an effort to remind drivers to be more aware of motorists on the road, CDOT issued the following guidelines:
- Check Blind Spots
- Look Twice
- Never Follow Motorcycles to Closely
- Eliminate Distractions while Driving
Motorcycles are much smaller than cars making them easy to be in a driver’s blind spot. Before a driver makes a lane change they should check their blind spots twice. This ensures that a motorist is not in their path of travel. Drivers should also eliminate distractions and be mindful of the driving conditions. Drivers should allow for a longer following distance when following a motorcycle. Additionally, motorists should give motorcycles the full width of the driving lane at all times.
“While most drivers don’t go out of their way to cause accidents with motorcyclists, it can be very easy for a driver to make a small mistake that can lead to devastating consequences.” said Attorney Christopher Nicolaysen from Springs Law Group, LLC. “As a motorist using public roads, every driver has the duty to exercise caution to avoid unnecessary harm to other motorists. This includes checking blind spots before merging and not following other motorists too closely.”
Head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes, so CDOT has also been encouraging motorcyclists to wear helmets and other protective gear to try and help reduce crash fatalities. Motorcyclists need to take precautions when driving by following the speed limit and never driving while under the influence.