Understanding Colorado’s motorcycle laws

Colorado’s beautiful scenery means the roads are filled with many different types of motor vehicles, including cars, trucks and motorcycles. For the most part, the same traffic laws apply to drivers of all these types of vehicles, but some of these drivers are much more vulnerable than others in an accident. Most vulnerable of all are motorcyclists.

Adults do not have to wear helmets

Having a thorough understanding of Colorado’s motorcycle laws can help both car drivers and motorcyclists avoid a catastrophic accident. Motorcyclists in Colorado age 18 and over are not required to wear a helmet, although they are required to wear eye protection.

Although a helmet is not required if you are a motorcyclist over age 18, wearing one can significantly reduce your chance of serious injury if you are in an accident.

Passenger laws

Motorcyclists may ride with passengers, but the passengers must ride behind or on the side of the driver; they cannot ride in front. All motorcycles must have a footrest for passengers and passengers must always use the footrest.

Two motorcycles may share a lane. However, lane splitting, or sharing lanes, between a car and a motorcycle is prohibited. A car and motorcycle sharing a lane significantly increases the chance of an accident.

What to do after a motorcycle accident

Taking all safety precautions can reduce your chance of an accident but does not guarantee you will never get into one. Many accidents involving motorcycles are caused by a car driver’s negligence. The small size of motorcycles means it is easy to miss a motorcycle on the road or turn in front of one and misjudge the distance, causing a crash.

Injuries from a motorcycle accident are often serious, resulting in high medical costs, lost wages or even the loss of a career, in addition to extensive pain and suffering.

After a motorcycle accident, you should seek immediate treatment for your injuries and take proper care of yourself. As you recover, speaking with a legal professional about a personal injury claim can help you determine if compensation may be available.