As a motorcycle rider, you’re exposed to an increased risk for accidents every time you head out on the road. Driving safely, of course, is the best way to reduce those risks while still truly enjoying the feel of the open road.
Understanding Colorado’s motorcycle laws is incredibly important for your safety. Here, we’ll review and explain these laws to help understand how ignoring these laws not only could cost you a citation but could also impact your safety. We’ll also discuss the importance of working with a Denver personal injury law firm in the event that you’re injured in an accident while riding your motorcycle.
Colorado law mandates that anyone under the age of 18 must wear a CDOT approved helmet at all times when riding a motorcycle including any passengers under 18. As an adult, it’s up to you whether or not you wear one, but helmets do save lives. Most experts recommend wearing a full helmet with a faceplate.
If you’re over 18 and choose to not wear a helmet, you must still wear eye protection while riding at all times. This is true for drivers and passengers of any age, and a windshield doesn’t qualify as protection. Instead, you’ll need to rely on either the visor on your helmet or a pair of sturdy goggles. Eye injuries while riding are exceptionally common and can temporarily blind you, causing dangerous accidents.
When you’re riding your motorcycle in Colorado, any passengers must ride either behind you or to the side of you. Side cars and legal attachments are fine and can be used as long as you use them safely. Never have a passenger, especially small children ride in front of you.
The person in front has the most risk for injury in an accident, and a small child or even an adult passenger can be thrown forward. The safest place for passengers is always seated behind you.
Additionally, you must provide passengers with footrests. Although some people simply rest their feet on the brake rod or muffler, which is not legal in Colorado. You can be cited and fined (as well as your passenger) for ignoring this law. If you don’t have foot rests installed for your passenger already, it’s easy to modify your motorcycle to include this safety feature.
Motorcyclists in Colorado must obey all traffic laws just as any other motor vehicle. However, motorcycle riders may share lanes or co-ride with other motorcycles, but not with other vehicles. This prevents passing cars in the same lane, swerving, traffic dodging, and other high-risk maneuvers.
As a motorcycle driver, you must drive safely at all times—and that means not passing unless you have a clear opportunity to do so just as if you were driving a car. Never pass a car in the same lane. Wait for a safe passing zone and visually confirm you have enough space to pass the vehicle and get back into your lane, and remember it’s much harder for driver in a car to see you on your bike than a full size car.
Last, but not least, is the clinging law. It is illegal (and subject to a fine) to attach your motorcycle to or grab onto another vehicle and use it to tow your motorcycle. This is true whether you’re driving the motorcycle or not. If your bike breaks down, the towing vehicle should properly secure the bike to the back of the truck using a rack or some other legal connection method.
Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident in Colorado? You need The Bendinelli Law Firm to fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Schedule your consultation with a Denver motorcycle accident lawyer and get the help you need.