Motorcycle Laws in Colorado
Riding a motorcycle is one of the most enjoyable ways to travel. However, that ride comes with its share of risks. Although most motorcycle riders take reasonable precautions to protect themselves on the road, accidents still happen. Without the protections that cars and trucks offer occupants, an exposed motorcycle rider faces the risk of significant injury when an accident occurs.
The laws in Colorado are designed to ensure that motorcycle riders take precautions and ride responsibly. Before you get on a motorcycle, you should know and understand Colorado’s motorcycle laws. As a motorcyclist, you must follow those laws and regulations every time you ride. Doing so may help you avoid an accident – and potentially save your life – in the event of an accident.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Colorado that was not your fault, contact Jeffrey S. Lasswell, PC today. You can schedule an initial consultation to discuss your options for pursuing compensation. An experienced, skilled motorcycle accident attorney will improve your chances of obtaining maximum recovery in your motorcycle accident case.
Colorado Motorcycle Helmet Law
Colorado’s motorcycle helmet law requires that a motorcycle may not be operated unless all persons under the age of 18 are wearing a U.S. Department of Transportation-approved helmet.
Eye protection is required for all operators and passengers. Eye protection can include the face shield of a helmet or a pair of goggles. Eye protection must meet these requirements:
- Be scratch-free
- Be made of shatter-proof material
- Offer a clear view to a person’s sides
- Fasten securely to the face and head
- Allow air to pass through (to prevent fogging)
- Allow enough room for eyeglasses or sunglasses, if needed
Motorcycle operators and passengers should wear appropriate clothing. Good clothing will keep riders warm and dry and protect them from injury. Ideally, riders should wear a jacket and pants that completely cover the arms and legs. The clothing should fit snugly but be loose enough to permit movement. It is also recommended that clothing be made of leather, heavy denim, or another sturdy synthetic material.
Boots or shoes worn while riding a motorcycle should cover the ankles and have soles made of hard, durable material. Riders should also wear gloves made of leather or other heavy cloth.
Motorcycle Passenger Requirements
In order for a motorcycle to legally carry a passenger other than the operator, the motorcycle must have a proper, factory-installed seat designed to carry a passenger. The operator should not sit any further forward than they normally would just to accommodate a passenger. The bike must also have a set of foot pegs intended solely for the passenger’s use.
Passengers should wear the same protective gear as operators. Passengers should also be instructed to get on the motorcycle only after the engine has been started. They should sit as far forward as possible without interfering with the operator. Passengers should hold firmly onto the operator’s waist, hips or belt. Passengers should keep both feet on the foot pegs, keep legs away from mufflers and lean with the operator into turns.
What Do You Need to Do to Get Your Motorcycle License in Colorado?
Anyone who wishes to operate a motorcycle in Colorado must obtain a motorcycle endorsement on his or her license. A person applying for a motorcycle endorsement must:
- Obtain a valid Colorado driver’s license
- Pass the motorcycle written exam
- Obtain a motorcycle instruction permit
- Pass a motorcycle driver skills test
Alternatively, an applicant may complete a motorcycle operator safety training course in order to obtain a motorcycle endorsement.
Persons under the age of 18 must hold a motorcycle instruction permit for at least 12 months before being eligible for a motorcycle endorsement for their license. Minors under the age of 16 must be under the direct supervision of a motorcycle instructor at all times when operating a motorcycle.
Colorado does not accept out-of-state Motorcycle Safety Foundation cards, unless those cards were acquired on a military base by an individual holding a valid military ID.
Can Motorcycles Split Lanes in Colorado?
Under Colorado law, motorcycles and other motor vehicles, such as cars or trucks, may not occupy the same lane of travel. If a motorcycle wishes to pass another vehicle, or if another vehicle wishes to pass a motorcycle, the vehicle must move completely over to the adjoining left lane of travel.
Motorcycles also may not ride on road lines or in between columns of traffic. However, two motorcycles may occupy the same lane side-by-side.
Tips for Staying Safe on a Motorcycle
When riding on a motorcycle, you should keep the following tips in mind to stay safe on the road:
- Wear bright and/or reflective clothing or place reflective material on your clothing.
- Keep your headlight on at all times.
- Ensure your motorcycle is well-maintained.
- Do not ride next to other vehicles if you do not have to.
- Keep vehicles in front at least two to three seconds of travel ahead of you. If vehicles are following too closely, move over and allow them to pass.
- Use the Scan-Identify-Predict-Decide-Execute process when in traffic.
As with any kind of motor vehicle, minimize the chances of being in an accident by driving defensively.
Hurt in a Crash? Talk to a Lawyer Now
Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident in Colorado through no fault of your own? You may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. Compensation may reimburse you for your medical expenses, lost income or earning potential, and pain and suffering.
Do not let negligent drivers and insurance companies try to offer you less than the full and fair financial compensation you deserve. Get an experienced Colorado motorcycle accident attorney on your side who will fight to secure the maximum financial recovery for you.
Contact Jeffrey S. Lasswell, PC today. You can schedule a consultation to discuss the details of your accident and case. You will learn more about your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation for your injuries and losses.