The month of May has been designed as Motorcycle Safety Month and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has initiated a program to encourage motorcyclists to attend training programs currently available across the state. Sam Cole, a department spokesman, says that riders should take advantage of the available training, as riders who are simply mediocre should not be operating on the roads. In 2016, Colorado had 125 motorcyclist fatalities, which is a 15% rise from the prior year. This fatality rate represents an alarming trend. Fatalities on motorcycles make up roughly 20% of all roadway deaths, compared to approximately 16% in 2012. As of mid-April 2017, the state reports 18 deaths so far; however, this number reflects data from predominately the winter months, where there are fewer riders. CDOT attributes the overall rise is accidents to increased distracted driving, mostly through mobile device usage.
Increased Tension Between Motorists & Motorcyclists
CDOT emphasized that both motorcyclists and standard vehicle drivers must take responsibility for safety on their shared roads. Many of the problems stem from motorists simply not seeing motorcyclists until just prior to a collision. Some of the obvious best practices include reducing speed of travel, wearing appropriate safety gear and to always abstain from alcohol consumption when riding. In response to recent tension between the two, CDOT says the focus should be on safety—not assigning blame. During the summer of 2016, hundreds of bikers blocked the northbound lane of Interstate 25 in Denver to protest their concerns and heighten awareness.
The BikerDown Organization Thriving in Colorado
Laurie Montoya is the president and founder of BikerDown, a nonprofit seeking to assist and support motorcyclists that have been injured. Last August, Dennis Tye, lost his leg in a motorcycle accident when a car made a left turn and struck him. He was in the hospital for over three months and endured nearly 20 surgical procedures. Tye is currently using a wheelchair until he receives a prosthetic leg. Tye expressed his difficulty with mobility trying to enter his home to Montoya, who had BikerDown build a ramp for easier entry. The organization assists with funeral arrangements, financial management and actively promotes that bikers maintain good insurance. Their annual May fundraiser is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Day where riders will travel from Parker to Littleton. Montoya explains that accidents do occur; therefore it is best to proactively acquire the right motorcycle insurance to account for the high costs of severe accidents.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation to account for your losses and distress. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal is a champion for Colorado injury victims. We will aggressively pursue financial reparations through civil actions. For a free consultation, contact the office today at (303) 825-2223.