Colorado is home to a diverse landscape popular for exploring on a motorcycle, but not all motorcycle trips end well. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), over 100 people die in motorcycle accidents on our state’s roads each year.
If these crashes are not fatal, accident victims can suffer from very severe injuries, such as broken bones, road rash, and head trauma. Many factors contribute to these motorcycle accidents, including driver negligence, poor road quality, and defective vehicle parts.
#1: Driving Under the Influence
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious crime and extreme danger. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to recognize the gravity of intoxicated driving and get behind the wheel after taking these substances. Alcohol and drugs impair reaction time, judgement, coordination, and concentration, and a driver who lacks the proper ability to operate his or her vehicle can easily collide with a motorcyclist.
#2: Inclement Weather Conditions
Colorado weather can be unpredictable, especially in the winter. Rain, snow, and ice can make roads slippery and dangerous to drive on. Motorcyclists can lose control of their vehicles, leading to a serious accident. In addition, low visibility while driving at night can increase the risk of an accident, even if a motorcyclist has the proper lights and safety equipment.
#3: Defective Motorcycle Parts
Motorcycles are composed of multiple sophisticated parts. It is the responsibility of the manufacturers of these parts to ensure that they are safe and in good condition when they reach the consumer. If a motorcycle part has a manufacturing or design flaw, the vehicle becomes unsafe. A malfunction can occur while a motorcyclist is on the road, increasing the risk of an accident.
#4: Inattentive Driving
Drivers have a responsibility to pay attention to the road, operate their vehicles safely, and follow all traffic laws. Unfortunately, not all motorists uphold this duty of care. Since motorcycles are small vehicles, they can be easy for a driver to miss. If a driver attempts to make a lane change or turn, for example, and fails to see an oncoming motorcycle, a serious crash can occur.
Another hazard is distracted driving. Drivers must focus their eyes, minds, and hands on the act of driving. Texting, eating, talking on the phone, or even fiddling with a radio or GPS system can cause a driver to lose focus and collide with a motorcycle.
#5: Road Hazards
Since motorcycles are smaller than the average car, motorcyclists are more susceptible to road hazards than drivers. While a car can drive over a pothole or loose gravel, these dangerous conditions can put motorcyclists at risk of an accident. In addition, motorcycles lack the same braking mechanisms that a car has, which increases the risk of slipping and sliding when a sudden hazard appears on the road.
Legal Options for Motorcycle Accident Victims
Depending on the cause of the accident, injured motorcyclists have multiple pathways to seek compensation for their injuries. If another motorist is responsible, a motorcyclist can file an insurance claim or lawsuit against him or her. If the actions of an entity caused the crash, such as a government agency or manufacturer, the motorcyclist can pursue litigation against it.
If you suffer injuries in a Colorado motorcycle accident, you need an advocate on your side. A lawyer can help you file a claim against the driver, manufacturing company, or government agency responsible for your crash. Contact a Colorado motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and take your first steps toward compensation.