There are many benefits to riding a motorcycle in Colorado. The state has wonderful terrains and breathtaking views everywhere. From The Garden of the Gods to the Rocky Mountains, this is one of the nicest places to ride in the spring and summer! With that being said, motorcyclists must follow the vehicle and traffic laws in Colorado. Certain skills are needed to safely operate a motorcycle and Colorado offers a manual that outlines this information.

At Matlin Injury Law, we believe that your safety and wellbeing are the number one priority! In this guide, we will outline Colorado’s motorcycle laws and awareness procedures. That way, you will be able to ride safely. Still, accidents can happen. If you suffered injuries from a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, contact us today free personal injury consultation.

Have you been hurt in a motorcycle accident? Matlin Injury Law will fight for your rights in Colorado! Get a free consultation to find out if you have a case. We can help you file claims to access the compensation you deserve. Start the process of getting your life back right here!

About Colorado Motorcycle Laws in Colorado

Various laws govern how those operating motor vehicles must conduct themselves on the roads in Colorado. This includes riders of motorcycles. These laws cover everything from the legal riding age to licensing. Here is an overview of what you should know!

Colorado Motorcycle Licensing

On your driver’s license, you must ensure that you are endorsed to ride a motorcycle. The letter M endorsement allows you to ride a two-wheeled vehicle or drive a three-wheeler (trike) in addition to a car, truck, or SUV. The “3” endorsement on a driver’s license means that you can only operate a three-wheeled motorcycle or trike.

Colorado Helmet Laws

If you are age 18 or over, you are not required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in Colorado. However, wearing a helmet while you ride is definitely recommended and can help you prevent serious injuries. In fact, wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of life-threatening injury by more than 59%!

The passenger of any motorcycle over the age of 18 is also not required to wear a helmet. However, any riders or passengers under 18 must always wear helmets. All helmets must be DOT-approved for riders under the age of 18.

Colorado Motorcycle Eye Protection Requirements

In Colorado, eye protection is legally required for all motorcycle riders and passengers.
Eye protection can include visors, goggles, or sunglasses with lenses of safety glass or plastic. The windshield of your motorcycle does not qualify as eye protection.

Colorado Motor Bike Mirrors

In Colorado, all motorcycles on the rod are legally required to have at least one side-view mirror. Some crotch rockets and sportbikes do not have side-view mirrors. These are illegal to ride on Colorado’s highways, roads, streets, and so on until mirrors have been added. All motorcycles are legally required to have at least one side-view mirror.

Motorcycle Mufflers and Noise Levels

Colorado has certain noise limit level laws. This means that your motorcycle can only make a certain amount of noise. Motorcycles that were manufactured after July 1st of 1971 and before July 1st of 1973 can not exceed an 88-decibel level at a distance of 50 feet away. All motorcycles that were manufactured after July 1st of 1973 may not exceed 86 decibels from 50 ft away.

Motorcycle Safety Inspections in Colorado

Colorado Law Officers can legally perform periodic safety inspections randomly on motorcycles. This means that you could be pulled over and a safety inspection could be conducted on your bike. As such, it is prudent to ensure your motorcycle is in proper operating condition and follows Colorado’s motorcycle safety laws.

Motorcycle Passenger Laws

Passengers are required to wear a helmet that is DOT-approved if they are under the age of 18. Additionally, all passengers are required to wear eye protection. If you have a passenger on the back of your bike, they must be able to utilize any footrests properly. Additionally, passengers must always ride on the seat behind the operator or to the side in a sidecar. Passengers may not ride on the front of a motorcycle.

Motorcycle Traffic Laws

Various traffic laws govern how motorcycles must operate in Colorado. For instance, passing or overtaking another vehicle in the same Lane is illegal for motorcycles. Lane sharing or splitting with other cars is not permitted in Colorado. Motorcycles are, however, permitted to share a lane with another motorcyclist. However, they may not share a lane with a truck, car, SUV, or other four-wheel vehicles. It is also illegal to attach your motorcycle to another vehicle while riding in Colorado.

Motorcycle Awareness for Other Drivers on the Road

If you are operating a four-wheeled motor vehicle, it is paramount to stay aware of motorcycles in the area. Be alert and keep an eye out for any new traffic around you. In the spring and summer, always anticipate the presence of motorcycles nearby. Be sure to observe your blind spots before merging or switching to another lane. Be especially careful when there is heavy traffic. It is easy for motorcycles to be overshadowed by larger vehicles. Be sure you have a two-second safety buffer when driving behind a motorcycle.

Here are some tips that can help you safely share the road with motorcyclists in Colorado.

  • Don’t bully or put pressure on motorcycles nearby. Driving aggressively next to a motorcycle can cause a dangerous situation. Take care that all motorcycles around you have plenty of room to safely stop or slow down.
  • Always double-check your blind spots. Because motorcycles are smaller and faster than regular motor vehicles, they could quickly approach your vehicle. Be sure to always take a second look before changing lanes or merging.
  • Always turn left cautiously. Making a left turn can be difficult, especially when the traffic is particularly heavy. You may have a hard time seeing because of the glare of the sun. Or, maybe bushes or other obstacles have made it difficult for you to see what is around the next turn. Left turns are one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Always use caution when turning left through a crosswalk or intersection.

Motorcycle Crash Injuries in Colorado

Motorcyclists can be severely injured if they are involved in an automobile crash. These injuries can be life-changing! Common motorcycle injuries include spinal cord injuries, brain trauma, and head injuries. As a motorcyclist, always practice safe riding and wear the right gear. As a motor vehicle operator, be sure to keep an eye out for motorcycles on the road. Motorcycles are usually more prevalent starting in March and extending through October in Colorado.

Fatal Crash Statistics for Motorcyclists

Riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a four-wheeled motor vehicle. This is because motorcycles are smaller than cars and offer less physical protection in the event of a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 4,985 motorcycle deaths in 2018.

From 2012 to 2018, the Colorado Department of Transportation reported that motorcycle fatalities increased by almost 30%! Even though motorcycles represented just 3% of the vehicles on the road, fatalities increased significantly. There are many reasons that this may have occurred. With more people visiting Colorado now than ever before, the presence of motorcycles must be taken into consideration. As a motorcyclist, it is important to be more careful than ever on the road. As an automobile driver, you should be aware of motorcycles sharing the highway.

Alcohol-related Motorcycle Fatalities in Colorado

Every day, somewhere around 60 people are arrested in Colorado for driving while under the influence of alcohol. This can result in devastating automobile accidents. When these accidents involve motorcycles, fatalities are more likely. Never ride a motorcycle while inebriated. As a biker, always be aware that drivers on the road could be intoxicated. Ride defensively and stay away from vehicles that are swerving or driving strangely!

Weather-related Problems

When the weather is less than ideal, stay home. Ice, flying debris, wind, rain, sleet, and other inclement conditions can make it hard to ride. This may increase the likelihood of getting into a motorcycle accident.

Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer? Call Our Colorado Personal Injury Attorneys!

Have you been involved in a motorcycle accident because of another driver’s negligence? Do you need help filing a lawsuit? If so, contact our personal injury law firm today. Here at Matlin Injury Law, we offer free consultations to injured riders. Find out what your personal injury is worth now! We are here to help you at every step of the claims process.

For Motorcycle Injuries, Call Us at (720) 464-3600 or Contact Our Team Online Now!