Riding a motorcycle can feel liberating. Combined with the adrenaline rush, enjoying the outdoors on your motorcycle can be a great hobby that allows you to unwind and de-stress. The reality on the road, however, is that it can be dangerous to ride a motorcycle if you get into a crash. Despite many “Start Seeing Motorcyclists” campaigns across the country, many drivers do not see motorcycles as quickly as they should be checking their blind spots, and do not share the road appropriately with motorcyclists.
According to statistics released by the Colorado Department of Transportation, motorcycle fatalities have increased from 2002 to 2016. In 2002, motorcycle fatalities made up 9.8 percent of all traffic fatalities in Colorado. This year, motorcycle fatalities made up 21.7 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state. The statistics were reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
While it may seem the percentages have doubled, the actual numbers of motorcycle fatalities have not doubled. There were 73 motorcycle fatalities in 2002. This year, there were 99 motorcycle fatalities in Colorado. What the percentages mean is that out of total traffic deaths, more happened to be riding motorcycles than was the case back in 2002.
Total traffic deaths overall in the state are down
While a larger portion of the total traffic deaths were motorcyclists, overall numbers of traffic deaths in Colorado has decreased since 2002. In 2002, total traffic deaths were 743 people. This year, that number is 456 people.
Traffic deaths counted in the report were fatalities by person type. The types of deaths that were counted include:
- Drivers over the age of 65
- Drivers under the age of 65
- Motorcyclists (or motorcycle passengers)
Driver deaths in Colorado have decreased
Some good news is that both drivers over the age of 65 and under the age of 65 have fewer fatalities now than they did back in 2002. In 2002, there were 56 fatalities who were drivers over the age of 65. This year, that number was 36.
For drivers under the age of 65, there were 351 fatalities in 2002. This year, that number was 170. Similarly, passenger fatalities also decreased. In 2002, there were 183 fatalities who were passengers. This year, there were 92 passengers who died in crashes.
Pedestrian deaths have also decreased since 2002. In 2002, 71 pedestrians died in accidents. This year, 49 pedestrians died.
Bicycle deaths stayed the same or slightly increased
For those riding bicycles, the numbers since 2002 show that the fatalities stayed around the same number or slightly increased some years. In 2002, there were 9 fatalities of bikers. This year, there were 10 fatalities. The highest number of biker fatalities in Colorado was in 2015 when 14 bikers died in crashes.
If you were injured in a crash
If you were seriously injured in a motorcycle crash, or if your loved one died in such a crash, you need an attorney who understands how to deal with insurance companies who are biased against motorcyclists. A lawyer will help you stand up for your rights against the insurance company, whether you were in a motorcycle crash, or any other type of crash. Look for an attorney that takes these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t have to pay out of your own pocket to hire a lawyer. You would only pay if you win the case.