Motorcycle Safety

CDOT Motorcycle Safety Campaign

CDOT is working to make Colorado’s roads safer for all users, including motorcyclists. Last year, there were 136 motorcyclists killed on Colorado roadways. In 2022, 149 motorcyclists were killed on Colorado roads, representing 20% of the state's total traffic fatalities, but only 3% of the state’s vehicle registrations. No one ever plans to crash, but some crashes are unavoidable. It’s our goal to ensure that every rider has the safest ride possible.

Chart displaying the number of motorcycle driver fatalities in Colorado from 2012 to 2022

The number of fatalities is shown on the vertical axis, while the years are shown on the horizontal axis. The number of fatalities varies from year to year, with a low of 70 in 2003 and a high of 149 in 2022. The number of fatalities has generally increased over time. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that speed and alcohol are large contributing factors in motorcycle crashes.

In Colorado, 75 of the 149 motorcycle fatalities in 2022 involved riders not wearing helmets. Colorado law only requires riders younger than 18 years of age to wear a helmet. CDOT brings awareness to the vulnerability of motorcyclists on the road and focuses on the importance of gearing up with a DOT-compliant helmet on every ride.

Helmets are a simple and effective way to reduce the likelihood of injury or death during a crash. For your safety:

  1. Always wear protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet. To find a helmet that's right for you, please visit the NHTSA Motorcycle Helmet webpage.
  2. Get trained by finding a class on CSP's Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) webpage.
  3. Get endorsed by your local DMV. MOST is a really good option for getting a motorcycle endorsement. You can get more information on motorcycle endorsement on the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Motorcycle Endorsement webpage.
  4. Always obey speed limits and other rules of the road.

Helmets are Uncomfortable. There is no excuse to not wear a helmet.  It's hard to see in a helmet. There is no excuse not to wear a helment. Helmets are too restrictive. There is no excuse to not wear a helmet.

CDOT encourages motorcyclists to remember to gear up, wear a helmet, obey the speed limit, and watch out for each other. Of course, it’s not just up to motorcyclists to make our roads safer. Drivers also need to take the following steps to help prevent collisions with motorcycles:

  1. Always check blind spots for motorcycles
  2. Always look twice when pulling onto a roadway
  3. Avoid distractions, such as your phone
  4. Never follow motorcycles too closely

Motorcyclist kneeling next to a memorial next to the road.    Image of a group of motorcyclists carrying a casket through a graveyard