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Larimer County motorcycle accident injury attorney

Operating a motorcycle in any state requires a certain level of responsibility, and this can often exceed the level of care needed to safely drive a passenger or commercial vehicle. Motorcyclists should be sure to follow all state laws. These laws are in place to help keep motorcyclists and their passengers safe and to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents. Many of these regulations might seem like common sense, but it is important for motorcyclists to be aware of considerations that do not necessarily apply to car drivers. It is imperative that you familiarize yourself with laws and safety procedures before you hit the open road, and this can help you prevent crashes and serious injuries.

Colorado Motorcycle Laws

Even if you already consider yourself a cautious motorcyclist, it is best to fully understand the laws that you must follow. You should bear the following three categories in mind:

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Larimer County motorcycle accident attorney

We hear about motorcycle accidents all of the time, and unfortunately, newsworthy reports about them usually mean there was a fatality. Because motorcycles offer little external protection for cyclists, motorcycle riders are often the ones killed or seriously injured when they are involved in a collision. Despite the stereotype of motorcyclists being reckless and irresponsible, most are passionate about safety. There are many other things that can cause a motorcycle crash, and they are often not the fault of the motorcyclist. 

Reasons for Colorado Motorcycle Accidents

Helmets are not required by law for motorcycle riders 18 years and older, but they can often prevent significant brain trauma. However, even when motorcyclists take precautions such as wearing safety gear, it may not be enough to prevent a serious injury. The Colorado Department of Transportation reported a rise in motorcycle rider deaths in 2018. In fact, motorcycle rider deaths have increased overall 30 percent between 2012 and 2018. 

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Larimer County motorcycle accident injury lawyerPeople young and old enjoy motorcycles. These riders are passionate about their bikes and the culture surrounding them. As with driving a car, every motorcyclist is a beginner at one point. The more educated new motorcycle drivers are, the safer they are on the road. Motorcyclists are one of the most vulnerable drivers during an accident, so following safety measures and advice from the beginning is critical. However, sometimes the reckless actions of other drivers can cause a collision with injuries.    

Colorado Motorcycle License

To legally operate a motorcycle in Colorado, a person must have the proper license. A motorcycle endorsement is an addition to a standard driver’s license. This special license can be obtained by visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles. To get a motorcycle endorsement, a driver must pass a written exam, purchase a permit, pass a skills test, and pay for a new license with the updated status. Alternately, a person may take a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training course instead, and then purchase a new license that is updated for motorcycle operation. 

Safety Precautions

For any new motorcyclist, hitting the road the first couple of times can be intimidating. Following the below tips that seasoned motorcycle riders abide by will increase a cyclist's safety and confidence: 

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Larimer County motorcycle accident injury lawyer

In 2018, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 16.3 percent of motor vehicle fatalities were motorcyclists—totaling 103. This is because, in an accident, a motorcyclist is more likely to suffer fatal injuries compared to a car or truck driver. When a motorcyclist weaves through other vehicles at a high speed, this can cause concern for other drivers. It also creates a poor stereotype that all motorcycle riders are reckless and irresponsible. Motorcycles are viewed as dangerous modes of transportation, and in many cases, the people who ride them have an equally negative bias against them. It is imperative for motorcyclists to adhere to certain safety standards in order to avoid being involved in an accident and suffering serious injuries. However, in some situations, a motorcycle accident can be caused by another driver's negligence.  

Safety First

Responsible motorcyclist enthusiasts are passionate about safety. Compared to a car, the amount of protection a motorcycle provides is extremely limited. In the event of an accident, a motorcycle rider is exposed directly to the incident, while a car has an external shell, and occupants are protected by systems such as seat belts and airbags. 

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Larimer County motorcycle accident attorney

The kind of vehicle a driver owns is a matter of personal choice. Some motorists may avoid owning or riding motorcycles due to the high risk of injury. There is a smaller percentage of motorcyclists on the road compared to passenger and commercial vehicles, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. Motorcycles are unique because they are not restricted, like bicycles or pedestrians, on major highways. However, they offer limited protection for the driver, and therefore, a motorcycle accident can have devastating consequences. 

Precautions to Take When Riding a Motorcycle

There are many safety precautions that motorcycle drivers and passengers should take when going out on the road. A driver's and rider’s entire bodies are subject to the surrounding environment since a motorcycle does not offer protection like a car. Basic motorcycle gear includes a helmet and gloves, plus rugged shoes and clothes. Leather is a popular choice because of its durability. In the event of falling off the motorcycle, these items will help protect the driver's and passenger's bodies. Protective eyewear such as sunglasses is also important to reduce the chances of a motorcyclist losing his or her eyesight in a crash. 

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Larimer County, CO motorcycle accident injury lawyer

Motorcyclists are often cast as irresponsible and reckless individuals due to their choice of transportation. While motorcycles do lack the external protection that cars have, most motorcycle riders care about safety and take the proper precautions while they are on the road. Motorcyclists make up only 3 percent of drivers in Colorado but contribute to 20 percent of fatalities on the same roads. There are factors that a motorcycle driver will not be able to control, and there are times when motorcycle accidents are unavoidable, but following laws and safety recommendations can be the difference between life and death. 

Safety Precautions 

To legally operate a motorcycle in Colorado, a driver must get a motorcycle endorsement on an already valid driver’s license. One of the biggest safety precautions motorcyclists can take is to follow the law. Road rules exist for everyone’s safety, and there are penalties to discourage recklessness. Motorcycles are not allowed to share a lane with a car or drive in between two lanes of traffic. Since car and truck drivers do not expect smaller vehicles to speed past them, doing so can create a dangerous scenario. Two motorcycles can share a lane space and ride parallel, but it is recommended to drive in a single file line. 

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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