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Motorcyclists always must stay aware on the road

The mid-May fatal accident between a semi-truck and motorcycle in Denver once again highlights the hazards that face motorcyclists while traveling on the road. A 37-year-old father of three died when his motorcycle collided with the big-rig truck on I-70. He was dead at the scene and not wearing a helmet.

Every year, motorcyclists hit the road, understanding the safety precautions they must take, especially when many other motorists do not pay attention to the two-wheelers on the road. An accident between a motorcycle and another motor vehicle is usually a no-win situation for the motorcyclist. While on the road, motorcyclists must continue to be vigilant and visible, while understanding their vulnerability.

A record number of fatalities in 2016

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, motorcycle fatalities in the state reached a record high of 125 deaths in 2016. It represented a 19% increase from the 105 motorcyclist deaths and a more than 50% increase from the 79 motorcyclist deaths reported in 2012. Most of the victims did not wear helmets.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirms that many Colorado motorcyclists who died in 2017 were not wearing helmets. According to NHTSA statistics, of the 103 motorcycle fatalities recorded that year, 70% of the victims were not wearing helmets.

Here are some safety tips that just might save your life:

  • Focus on defensive driving. Be aware of distracted drivers who ignore traffic laws and fail to share the road. Drowsy, fatigued and drunk drivers also are dangerous road hazards.
  • Make sure to wear proper protective gear such as a helmet, leather clothing and sturdy boots, which may protect you if in a spill or accident.
  • Stay visible as some motorists just cannot be trusted. Consider wearing bright clothing.

Motorcycle season is upon us in the Rocky Mountains. Enjoy your rides but understand that potential hazards await you.

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