Negligent behavior can come from anywhere, and most motorcyclists know this firsthand. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 35,092 motorcycle crash fatalities in 2015 alone. We’re focusing on one thing in this post that can be done to help lower this number: using expertise as a motorcycle lawyer in Boulder to educate Colorado riders. Here are some relevant laws for Colorado motorcyclists.
Riders Under the Age of 18 Must Wear Dot-Approved Helmets.
Yes, at age 18+ you have the choice to wear a helmet. For passengers and riders 17 or younger, you need to have an up-to-regulation helmet. As of August 2018, most states neighboring Colorado have similar partial laws, with the exception of Nebraska where ALL riders are required to wear a helmet. Most states opt for full or partially mandatory helmets due to the overwhelming statistics showing fewer crash fatalities when riders are wearing one.
Eye Protection Is Required for All Riders.
All Colorado riders and passengers regardless of age are required to wear some form of eye protection while riding. Usually, this means a helmet visor. Goggles or glasses with safety glass or plastic lenses are also acceptable by law, but NOT windshields. Eye protection is not required in Wyoming, Utah or Nebraska. In New Mexico and Kansas, riders must wear eye protection AND find windshields to be adequate protection instead of eyewear.
Passing and Lane Splitting Is Illegal.
In Colorado, passing a vehicle in the same lane is illegal. Lane sharing with cars and lane splitting is also illegal. In fact, presently the only state that has legalized lane splitting is California. Colorado law DOES state that motorcycles can legally share a lane (“co-ride”) with one other motorcycle.
“Keeping Your Hands and Feet Inside the Vehicle at All Times, Ladies and Gents…”
Positioning is important in Colorado, too. For example, the rider ‘clinging’ to or grabbing another vehicle as a means of towing is illegal. For passenger positioning, they must side behind or side-car and use the bike’s passenger footrests.Knowing your local laws helps keep you out of trouble with the law, but it also helps you avoid liability in personal injury situations like motorcycle accidents. If you are injured in an accident and can provide convincing proof to your motorcycle lawyer in Boulder or general CO that you know and follow the law, you’re much more likely to get the injury compensation you deserve. Stay careful and ride on!