Motorcyclists throughout Colorado, and in neighborhoods such as Timbercove, Club Crest, the Highlands and Allendale, face a range of hazards that can make riding on the state’s roads and highways uniquely challenging. Some of the most significant risks that motorcyclists face in Colorado (from Far Horizons to Oak Park and all points in between) include:
Weather Conditions: Colorado, where the mountains hit the plains, has some of the nation’s most unpredictable weather (sudden changes in temperature, high wind, and variable precipitation. In the Colorado Mountains, it can snow in July and rain in January. These unpredictable conditions can make riding a motorcycle hazardous.
Altitude Sickness: Colorado has some of the highest elevation roadways in the United States, and breathing at high altitude can be challenging for some motorcyclists. Altitude sickness can cause fatigue, dizziness, and other symptoms that impair a rider’s ability to operate their motorcycle.
Wildlife Encounters: Colorado is home to a variety of wildlife, including elk, dear, and even bears, which can pose a significant hazard to motorcyclists. Collisions with animals often cause serious injury or death, especially at high speeds.
Mountain Roads: Colorado’s scenic mountain roads are a popular destination for motorcycle riders, but they can also be hazardous. These roads often feature steep grades, tight curves and narrow lanes, all of which can be difficult to navigate, especially for inexperienced riders.
Heavy Traffic: Colorado’s population has grown rapidly in recent years, leading to an increase in congestion on many of the state’s roads and highways. Heavy traffic makes it more difficult for motorcyclists to maneuver, increasing the risk of accidents.
Construction Zones: Like many states, Colorado has a significant amount of road construction taking place on its highways and roads. Construction zones can be hazardous for motorcyclists, especially if there are uneven surfaces, loose gravel, or other hazards present.
Tourist Traffic: Colorado is a destination for tourists; many visitors choose to explore the state’s scenic roads and highways by bus, van, car and motorcycle. Tourist traffic can make riding more challenging, especially on narrow roads or in areas with limited visibility and where tourists might make an abrupt stop to take a nature photo.
Impaired Drivers: Unfortunately, Colorado, like many other states, has a problem with impaired drivers. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to accidents caused by drunk, stoned or high drivers, as they are often traveling at higher, or abnormally lower, speeds than other vehicles.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, in 2022, there were 82 motorcycle fatalities on Colorado roadways, compared to 78 fatalities in 2021, which is a 5% increase.
“As a motorcycle rider myself, I find it even more imperative to be aware of what other drivers are doing around you,” said Master Trooper Gary Cutler, a former member of the Colorado State Patrol Motor Unit and public information officer. “Ensuring you maintain the proper speed on a motorcycle helps avoid hazards that lead to injury or fatalities.”
CSP adds: “Motorcycle riders can prevent accidents or death by being aware of their surroundings, including staying out of blind spots of nearby vehicles and maintaining proper speeds. If you are speeding, it’s difficult to be able to react safely and quickly to hazards.”