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Colorado Drivers’ Tips for Safe Lane Filtering

May 29, 2024
Colorado Legislature Motorcycles
Motorcyclist in Colorado

Photo credit: Brad Brundage, Flickr

When motorcycles are lane filtering around you while you’re in a car, it’s important to ensure their safety as well as your own. Here are some tips to help you navigate this situation safely:

  1. Know the Law: Effective August 7, 2024, in Colorado it is legal motorcycles to lane filter between stopped traffic at 15 mph or less. They cannot filter on the right shoulder (or on the right of a vehicle in the right-most lane), or between any oncoming traffic.
  2. Stay Alert: Keep an eye on your mirrors and be aware of motorcycles approaching from behind, especially in heavy traffic or at stoplights where lane filtering is more common.
  3. Maintain Your Lane: Stay within your lane boundaries and avoid sudden lane changes or movements that could startle or cut off a motorcyclist.
  4. Signal Intentions: Always use your turn signals to indicate lane changes or turns well in advance. This gives motorcyclists time to react and adjust their position.
  5. Provide Space: If you see a motorcyclist approaching to filter through, try to provide as much space as possible within your lane. Slightly moving over (without crossing lane lines) can help.
  6. Be Predictable: Avoid sudden stops or rapid acceleration, which can surprise motorcyclists and increase the risk of an accident.
  7. Check Blind Spots: Always check your blind spots before changing lanes, even if you don’t initially see a motorcycle. They can appear quickly.
  8. Avoid Distractions: Stay focused on the road and avoid distractions such as mobile phones, eating, or adjusting the radio.
  9. Respect Their Space: Understand that motorcyclists are more vulnerable and require more space for maneuvering safely. Avoid crowding them or driving aggressively.
  10. Don’t Honk: Refrain from using your horn to alert motorcyclists unless absolutely necessary. It can startle them and cause a loss of control.
  11. Patience: Exercise patience and understanding. Lane filtering is legal in some places and can help reduce overall traffic congestion.

By following these tips, you can contribute to a safer driving environment for both yourself and motorcyclists sharing the road.

The new lane filtering law will no doubt cause some confusion and frustration, but there are studies that suggest that lane filtering creates a safer environment and reduces the likelihood of rear-end collisions.

We should try to view it as an opportunity to work together and reduce the number of accidents and injuries in Denver and Colorado.

The O’Sullivan Law Firm is dedicated to the safety of all Coloradans. Give us a call or shoot us a text if you have questions or concerns about the new lane filtering law. 303-388-5304

Learn about the fundamentals of Colorado’s lane filtering law here.

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