Summer is motorcycle season. The number of riders out on Colorado roads peaks during these warm-weather months, and for many the annual Four Corners rally serves as something of a symbolic grand finale.
Unfortunately, many motorcyclists will head into the wintry months ahead recovering from serious injuries suffered in a crash. Frequently, these incidents are the result of inattentiveness by other motorists, who are supposed to be sharing the road responsibly.
Motorcycle crash figures
Motorcycle crash fatalities have remained steady or increased in recent years. In 2018, these deaths accounted for about 16% of all traffic fatalities – despite motorcycles only making up about 3% of vehicles on the road, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Crash injuries also must be mentioned, as motorcyclists can suffer serious harm in a wreck. The most recent MOST report says that in 2019, there were 1,965 crashes involving a motorcycle – and nearly 70% of those resulted in an injury, a staggering rate.
Why motorcycle crashes occur
There are many potential causes for a motorcycle crash, and it is true that, sometimes, an operator’s own decisions are what lead to the wreck. Too often, however, it is other drivers who are at fault.
One of the most prevalent issues is motorists simply failing to see a nearby motorcyclist. The Department of Transportation highlights two particularly common crash circumstances.
One is a driver not checking blind spots. The average blind spot on a vehicle is 650 square feet, meaning those behind the wheel need to be vigilant. Still, drivers frequently don’t see motorcyclists. Two is left turns. Cars and trucks often turn left without realizing there is an oncoming motorcycle. This can result in a serious, life-threatening crash.
Everyone has a responsibility to make safe choices on the road. If a driver neglects to do so and causes severe harm to a motorcyclist, they can be held accountable.