Riding a motorcycle in the state of Colorado offers various terrain and breathtaking views of the Rocky mountains but motorcyclists must follow all Colorado motor vehicle traffic laws, with a few exceptions. Below we outline the minimal safety measures required by motorcycle laws established in Colorado. For those who need an in-depth explanation of the motorcycle laws, you can download the handbook below. For those who have suffered motorcycle accident injuries, please contact us today.
Motorcycle Laws in Colorado
- The “M” motorcycle endorsement allows someone to drive both two – and – three-wheel motorcycles.
- The “3” endorsement allows for the operation of only three-wheel motorcycles or otherwise known as tricycles.
- Riders aged 18 and over are not required to wear helmets.
- If the motorcycle operator or passenger is under the age of 18, they must wear DOT-approved helmets.
In States without an all-rider helmet law, 59% of the motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets, as opposed to only 8% in states with all-rider helmet laws in 2013.*
*Traffic Safety Facts. Data: Motorcycles, NHTSA, May 2015, DOT HS 812 148
- Eye protection is legally required for all riders, drivers, and passengers.
- A visor, goggles, or sunglasses with lenses made from safety glass or plastic are acceptable (A windshield is not considered eye protection).
- It is legally required to have at least one side-view mirror on the bike.
Mufflers / Noise Levels
- Required by law to limit noise levels.
- Any motorcycle manufactured on or after July 1, 1971, and before January 1, 1973, may not exceed a noise level of 88 dBA at 50 Feet. Any motorcycle manufactured on or after January 1, 1973, may not exceed 86 dBA.
- It is legal for law enforcement to perform periodic safety inspections at random on your motorcycle.
- Footrests: Motorcycles must be equipped with footrests and passengers must utilize them.Riding Position: Passengers must ride on the seat behind the driver or to the side (side-car). Not in the front.
- Passing or overtaking: Passing or overtaking a vehicle in the same lane is illegal. No lane sharing or splitting with cars. However, motorcycles can share a lane or ‘co-ride’ with another motorcycle.
- Clinging: As a rider, you can not attach your motorcycle to another motor vehicle.
Watch Out For Motorcycles
- Constantly search the traffic around you and expect to see motorcycles nearby.
- Observe your blind spots before merging or switching lanes, especially during heavy traffic.
- Come to a complete stop at intersections before you turn or pull out.
- Motorcyclists can be hidden behind large motor vehicles in traffic. Look for helmets, two tires below, or a shadow.
Allow a Two-Second “Safety Buffer” Behind a Motorcyclist
- Select a fixed object ahead of you. When the motorcycle passes the object, count off two seconds. If you haven’t passed the same object after two seconds, your trailing distance is sufficient.
- If the driving conditions are poor, traveling at higher speeds and at night, increase the “safety buffer” zone to four or five seconds.
Caution On Left Turns
- Most accidents between automobiles and motorcycles involve left turns at an intersection. Take a second look for motorcycles when preparing to cross traffic or turn left.
- Since motorcycles are smaller than automobiles, it is more difficult to recognize them and their speed in traffic.
- These accidents account for 42% of all collisions involving a motorcycle and an automobile.
Anticipate Hazards For the Motorcyclist
- Rough road conditions, precipitating weather, flying debris, oil slicks, and heavy traffic increases the risks for a motorcyclist.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and received personal injuries due to the accident, please contact a Ramos Law motorcycle attorney to get you the representation you deserve today.