Colorado's roads present unique dangers to motorcyclists

As CDOT launches a safety campaign, the number of motorcyclist deaths is set to remain the same this year as in 2014.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) recently launched a new safety campaign telling drivers to be more aware of motorcyclists on the road. According to the Coloradoan, the campaign has been launched primarily to help combat the number of motorcyclist fatalities, which stand at 52 for the state so far this year. While the number of motorcycle accidents this year is in line with previous years, safety experts and motorcyclists themselves say that Colorado's unique terrain makes the roads here particularly treacherous for bikers.

Motorcycle fatalities

Of the 52 motorcyclist fatalities in Colorado this year, 12 have occurred since June, which represents an uptick that is often seen during the summer months. The overall number of deaths are about in keeping with motorcyclist deaths last year, when a total of 92 such fatalities were recorded in the state.

However, what is worrying is that despite the fact that just three percent of vehicles on the road are motorcycles, they manage to account for 18 percent of all accidents in Colorado. Furthermore, according to the Ouray County Plaindealer, the situation is made even more severe by the fact that helmets are not mandatory for motorcyclists in the state, despite the fact that head injuries are the number one cause of death in motorcycle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that over 700 deaths across the U.S. could have been avoided in 2013 had riders been wearing helmets.

Distracted drivers

It will come as little surprise to most people that driver distraction is one of the leading causes of motorcycle crashes. Colorado has made texting and driving illegal, but motorcyclists routinely complain of drivers who are distracted by their cellphones, causing them to either drift out of their lane or to drive too slowly in the passing lane.

A uniquely Coloradoan aspect to the state's distracted driving problem, however, is that many drivers, especially those from out-of-state, tend to be distracted by the scenery on Colorado's mountain roads. The tight curves, steep grades, and distracting views all combine to make drivers along the state's mountain roads particularly vulnerable to driver inattentiveness. Of course, distracted driving is dangerous for all motorists, but especially so for motorcyclists who often need more space to brake and maneuver and who are more likely to suffer a serious injury if involved in an accident.

Motorcycle accidents

With motorcyclists suffering such serious injuries, it should come as no surprise that those involved in motorcycle accidents often have a long road ahead of them during their recovery. A personal injury attorney should be contacted as soon after an accident as possible. In addition to clarifying what legal options an injured victim may have, the right attorney can also address what forms of compensation can be pursued, including compensation that could cover damages, medical bills, lost wages, and other hefty expenses.