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What Colorado Drivers Need to Know About Motorcycles

January 31, 2024
Motorcycles Safe Driving

Here at the O’Sullivan Law Firm we care deeply about the Colorado motorcycle community, and it’s our mission to help keep our biker friends safe. If you ride a motorcycle, then the information below isn’t news to you. But the majority of car drivers have never–and will never–drive a motorcycle in their life. That doesn’t mean, however, that they can just ignore motorcycle safety.

Please send this info on to anyone who’s ever wondered why motorcycles drive the way they drive, no matter the bike. Scroll to the bottom for a shareable infographic!

How Drivers in Colorado Can Protect Motorcyclists

When Motorcycles Gently Swerve Within a Lane, It’s Generally for a Reason:

Motorcyclists do this to make sure all drivers in the lanes see him or her, to avoid road debris, and to adjust for wind. They’re not just showing off!

What to Do:

Keep a safe distance from a motorcyclist performing these checks.

The Headlights & Taillights of Motorcycles Are Smaller Than Those of Cars:

Drivers are used to seeing double headlights, double taillights, and brake lights. A single light in traffic on a dark night could be easily obscured.

What to Do:

Drive more carefully at night—as you should—and keep an eye out for the odd single light moving in traffic.

What to Do:

Turn signals on motorcycles sometimes do not shut off on their own. And sometimes even the most experienced riders simply forget to turn them off. If they do slow to make a turn or change lanes, increase the distance between the motorcycle and your vehicle so you aren’t surprised.

Motorcycle Brake Lights Aren’t the Only Indication That They’re Slowing Down:

Like cars, motorcycles don’t require braking to slow down; many motorcyclists simply downshift or roll off the throttle, which means the brake light does not go on.

What to Do:

Pay extra close attention when following motorcycles and be looking for other visual clues they are slowing—such as the distance between you is suddenly much less. If you follow too closely, you leave yourself almost no reaction time.

Most of the Time, Motorcycles Can Stop Much Faster Than Your Car:

Weather, road conditions, speed, and other factors all affect the stopping ability of a motorcycle.

What to Do:

Always allow for a larger following distance to allow reaction time plus the slower response time of a car when driving behind a motorcycle.

Motorcycles Are Small:

That means that it is easy for one to get lost in your car’s blind spot or even hidden by other objects. Additionally, their size makes them look farther away, causing drivers to think they have more room to change lanes or turn.

What to Do:

Always take a second look to make sure no motorcycles are there or approaching before making any moves.

Yes, Motorcycles Are Maneuverable—But They Can’t Dodge Everything:

Don’t think a motorcycle can simply veer out of the way to avoid a collision. Again, many factors affect the stopping ability and maneuverability of a motorcycle, and the motorcyclist’s body is completely exposed. What would be a fender bender to another car can be deadly to a biker.

What to Do:

It is better to give extra distance between your vehicle and the bike.

They’re Going Slower MPH Than You Think:

Again, the size of a motorcycle is deceitful. Don’t panic if you think a motorcycle is zooming along at light speed—it is probably not.

What to Do:

Maintain your distance and keep an eye out for the rider.

Motorcycle Accidents That Involve Other Vehicles Are Generally Caused by the Driver Not Seeing the Motorcycle:

There are many more large vehicles like cars and trucks on the road than motorcycles. Although motorcycles may be a rarity in your Denver neighborhood, it’s important to recognize that they are there.

What to Do:

“Not seeing” a motorcycle isn’t an excuse! Look twice – save a life!

Motorcycles Are Motorists, Too:

Under all the protective gear and the helmets, motorcycle riders are people that deserve the same amount of respect and courtesy on the road as other drivers in Colorado.

What to Do:

Treat them as you would any fellow driver while giving them a little extra distance.

What Colorado Drivers Need to Know About Motorcycles – An Infographic

What drivers should know about motorcycles in Colorado infographic

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