The Invisible Threat: How Distracted Driving Impacts Motorcycle Safety In Colorado

Distracted driving has become an increasingly dangerous issue on roads across the United States. Drivers engage in distracting activities like texting, eating, talking on the phone, using in-vehicle technologies, and more. This diversion of attention away from the road often has devastating consequences.

In Colorado, distracted driving has had a major impact on motorcycle safety. Studies show it contributes to a disproportionately high number of motorcycle-involved crashes in the state each year. According to data from the Colorado Department of Transportation, more than 10,000 Colorado drivers were involved in distracted driving-related crashes in 2020 alone. Tragically, this led to 68 fatalities.

Distracted driving is now one of the leading causes of motorcycle crashes in Colorado. The number of distracted driving incidents continues to rise annually as technology in cars advances.

Vulnerability of Motorcyclists

Unlike drivers in enclosed vehicles, motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable on the roadways. They lack the protection of airbags, safety belts, and metal frames. So, when a distracted driver crashes into a motorcycle, the results are often catastrophic. Motorcyclists involved in these crashes are 58 times more likely to be killed compared to occupants of enclosed vehicles. The devastating injuries sustained by motorcyclists in distracted driving crashes often result in permanent disabilities as well. The financial toll of these incidents is immense for families.

Distracted drivers in Colorado often fail to notice or react to the presence of motorcyclists. Their diverted attention causes them to overlook motorcycles in blind spots or misjudge distances and speeds. Even momentary distractions can have devastating outcomes for motorcyclists.

Efforts to Curb Distracted Driving

In response to the growing distracted driving problem, Colorado has implemented measures to encourage attentive driving. In 2017, the state passed a “Texting While Driving” law, making it illegal to manually type or read messages on phones while behind the wheel. Offenders face fines of up to $300 on their first violation and four points on their driving record.

Driver’s Education in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Transportation also launched a statewide distracted driving education and enforcement campaign. The initiative includes increased patrols to catch violators of the texting law. Harsher penalties for repeat distracted driving offenses provide further motivation for drivers to put down devices and pay attention.

But advocacy groups argue that more needs to be done to curb distracted driving and protect vulnerable road users like motorcyclists. They are calling for bans on handheld phone calls and other distracting activities proven to divert attention away from driving. Groups like the Motorcycle Safety Foundation encourage riders to wear bright, reflective gear and position themselves to be most visible to surrounding traffic.

Reversing the Trend

With stronger laws, continued public education, and defensive riding, advocates hope to reverse the alarming trends in distracted driving-related motorcycle crashes across Colorado. While the state has made strides, distracted driving remains an invisible threat to the safety of motorcyclists. Ongoing efforts are crucial to enforcing attentive driving habits and ensuring the well-being of all who share the road.

Distracted driving continues to threaten the lives of motorcyclists in Colorado and beyond. While progress has been made through legislation and advocacy, the problem still persists. Motorcyclists can take defensive measures, but ultimately all drivers need to put safety first. Eliminating distractions behind the wheel is the only way to curb this invisible threat on our roadways.

With a combination of accountability, education, and vigilance, we can work together to prevent these needless tragedies.

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a distracted driver in Colorado, contact us today. We have offices in 32 locations and 19 states, including Colorado, Missouri, and Illinois.

Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.