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CDOT Urges Motorists to Watch for Motorcyclists During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May

May 7, 2020 - Statewide Traffic Safety - Motorcycle deaths up 24% despite lower traffic volume

As counties in Colorado transition to Safer-at-Home orders, more vehicles, including motorcycles, are starting to return to Colorado roads. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which serves as a reminder for drivers to watch for motorcyclists as the riding season ramps up. Specifically, the Colorado Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to use caution when turning at intersections since motorcycles can be hard to see and use an abundance of caution when passing or following a motorcycle on the roadway.

“Safety on Colorado roadways needs to remain of utmost importance during these challenging times," said CDOT executive director Shoshana Lew. “Motorcyclists and motorists alike should be watching out for one another to keep our roadways safe.”

Motorcyclist deaths are up 24 percent compared to last year. As May 7, 2020, there have been 26 motorcyclist fatalities in Colorado, five more than the same time last year when 21 had occurred.

In 2019, 103 motorcyclists were killed on Colorado roads, which accounted for 17 percent of all roadway deaths for the year. Motorcycles comprise only 3 percent of vehicles on the road.

 Motorcycle graph

CDOT is reminding drivers to use extra caution and follow these recommendations to avoid colliding with a motorcycle:

  • Allow extra space when following a motorcycle as they can stop and turn more quickly than other vehicles.
  • Allow motorcycles the full width of a lane at all times.
  • Motorcycles can be hard to see at a distance so use extra caution when turning left at an intersection.
  • Check your mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

Motorcyclists are also urged to take precautions to remain safe on the road by wearing protective gear, obeying the speed limit and never riding impaired. Most motorcyclists who are killed in traffic crashes are not wearing helmets.

CDOT also recommends riders complete Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) before returning to the roads. Several MOST schools reopen on May 11th with safety measures in place to ensure the health and safety of students and instructors. Class sizes will be limited to 10 students and motorcycles and helmets will be cleaned thoroughly after each class according to CDC recommendations.

CDOT also encourages motorcyclists to maintain social distancing when filling up at the gas station; use disinfecting wipes to wipe down the gas pump, screen and touchpad; and use a plastic bag when touching the pump. These precautions will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Motorcycle safety is part of CDOT’s Whole System Whole Safety initiative. This project takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behavior, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving safety conditions for those traveling by all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission - to get everyone home safely.

Additional information is available at COMotorcycleSafety.com.

WHOLE SYSTEM. WHOLE SAFETY. 

In early 2019, CDOT announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative takes a systematic, statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.

ABOUT CDOT

CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal