The same things that make riding a motorcycle exhilarating are the same things that cause severe injuries in a crash. A smaller profile, faster acceleration, and the lack of a protective frame make these vehicles both exciting and incredibly dangerous.
In this article, Olson Law Firm, LLC, examines the most common road risks for riders in Colorado and Wyoming, as well as some simple steps you can take to keep yourself safe when on a motorcycle.
Common Risks While Driving a Motorcycle on the Road
- Driver recognition errors – A recognition error occurs when a motorist fails to identify or recognize an obstacle, hazard, or another vehicle on the road. Motorcycles are significantly smaller than other vehicles, and many drivers do not anticipate seeing them in traffic – or simply overlook them. Drivers of cars and trucks are especially prone to overlook motorcyclists and drive straight into them.
- Distracted drivers – Drivers focused on passengers, text messages, eating and drinking, or other distractions frequently ignore imminent traffic hazards and others on the road around them. A large proportion of motorcycle accidents involve distracted drivers.
- Drunk drivers – Alcohol and drugs – including many legal medications – can severely impair safe driving abilities, making it more difficult to see clearly, think straight, and react swiftly to changes in traffic. Drivers under the influence are significantly more likely to gloss over motorcyclists in neighboring lanes and cause severe crashes.
- Road hazards – Obstacles in the road such as potholes, loose gravel, railroad tracks, and uneven lanes are much more dangerous to motorcycle riders. Striking one of these obstacles at high speeds or odd angles can jar motorcyclists and knock them off course, increasing the risk of accidents. Poor road maintenance resulting in inadequate drainage or missing traffic signs can also dangerously alter traffic flow and make motorcycle wrecks more likely.
- Open car doors – When negligent vehicle occupants open car doors into traffic without checking their surroundings, passing motorcyclists can run into open doors. Motorcyclists who crash into unexpectedly opening doors can suffer painful and potentially life-changing injuries.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
If you ride a motorcycle in Colorado or Wyoming, it’s a good idea to review the following motorcycle safety tips that all riders should know:
- Wear the right gear. That means investing in a DOT-approved helmet, a thick jacket and pants, over-the-ankle boots, and non-slip riding gloves. Your equipment can protect you from the elements and shield you from road rash and severe head injuries in the event of a wreck. Brightly-colored, reflective materials will also help you stay more visible to others.
- Obey traffic laws at all times. Make sure to observe posted speed limits, pay attention to traffic signs and signals, and keep a safe distance behind other cars.
- Look out for road hazards. That includes dangerous drivers, such as those who are speeding, lane weaving, or drifting. Keep an eye out for bumps, potholes, and other road obstacles that could make you lose traction.
- Keep an eye on the weather. Heavy rain, snow, ice, and fog can impair traction and visibility, making your ride significantly more dangerous. Check the forecast every time you prepare to ride and avoid riding in inclement weather.
Contact Our Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, the Colorado and Wyoming motorcycle accident attorneys at Olson Law Firm LLC want to help. We take every case we work on personally. Our lawyers are not afraid to take on big insurance companies to seek the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to get started with your free initial consultation.
Sean Olson is much more than just a personal injury lawyer. Sean is an advocate who helps those who are injured navigate our complex legal system. And he is a voice for those who are injured and cannot speak for themselves.