7 Safety Tips For New Motorcyclists in Colorado

Riding a motorcycle is a lot of fun, but it can also be a more affordable way to get around in Colorado. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about parking!

But riding a motorcycle can be dangerous too. With injuries and death a serious possibility if you find yourself in a crash, it’s extremely important that you do everything in your power to stay safe on the road.

That means following road signs and going the speed limit, but there are even more tips that will help keep you safe when you’re new to riding your motorcycle in Colorado.

Don’t Practice Lane Splitting

Is lane splitting legal in Colorado?

The answer is no!

Although it may be tempting to squeeze your way through congested traffic by sharing the lane with other cars, it is illegal in the state of Colorado. It’s illegal in most other states as well.

Even where it’s technically legal in California, it’s a good idea to avoid this practice. It can be difficult for drivers to see you, and it can be especially dangerous in congested traffic where cars are idling very close together.
Lane splitting increases your chances of getting into an accident. It can also make other drivers around you angry, causing them to lash out. It’s best to avoid it altogether.

Give Yourself Plenty of Space

It’s a good rule of thumb for cars to follow a three-second rule. That way you’re less likely to rearend the car ahead of you if they slam on their brakes.

Following a three-second rule is a good starting point for motorcyclists, but it’s even better if you leave a little bit more distance. After all, a rear-end collision is more than just annoying when you’re riding a motorcycle—it can be dangerous.
Strive to keep at least four seconds of space between you and the car ahead of you. This will give you a little extra space to slow down and stop without swerving or hitting the car in front of you.

Check the Weather

Rainy weather can cause serious problems for motorcyclists. It can decrease the traction on your tires, making it much more likely for you to hydroplane and slide on the road, but it’s not just rainy weather that can cause problems.
Sunny weather can be a huge challenge too. The glare from the sun can make it difficult to see, which can increase your chances of getting into an accident.

Strong winds can cause you to swerve on the road, while fog can make it difficult to see your surroundings.
Challenging weather doesn’t mean you can’t ride your motorcycle. It’s just important to be aware. Take a few minutes to see what kind of weather you’re going to face on the road. That way you can wear your waterproof gloves, heavily tinted glasses, or plan to slow down in the fog so the weather isn’t the reason why you get into a crash.

Inspect Your Motorcycle Before Each Ride

Remembering to give your motorcycle a quick look-over before hopping on every single time you ride can be hard, especially if you ride often, but it is so important if you want to stay safe on the road.

A few things you’ll want to check include:

  • Headlights and taillights
  • Turn signals
  • Brakes
  • Fuel
  • Oil
  • Tire pressure
  • Handlebars
  • Horn

It’s also a good idea to have your motorcycle professionally checked. Make sure you change the oil when it’s time and have a knowledgeable motorcycle mechanic give it a look-over every time you take it in.

Be as Visible as Possible

It doesn’t matter how safe you are if other motorists don’t see you or they see you too late. It’s your job to be as visible as possible so you don’t get hit because someone on the road didn’t know you were there.

Wear brightly colored clothing instead of wearing all black, especially at night. Other drivers on the road are more likely to see you if you’re wearing a red, yellow, or blue shirt.

It also means wearing reflective items. Reflective clothing will ensure you stand out. If you don’t want to wear reflective items, make sure there are reflective stickers on your bike. Putting reflective stickers on your helmet is a great way to stay visible on the road too.

Don’t Wear Earbuds or Headphones

It can be difficult to know if you can wear headphones while riding a motorcycle or not. That’s true in Colorado, where it can be a bit confusing.

You cannot wear earphones or headphones on both ears when riding a motorcycle in Colorado. Earbuds and headphones can block out important sounds on the road that can give you plenty of warning to pull over for an ambulance, a tornado siren, or even the screeching brakes of another car.
That doesn’t mean you can’t listen to music at all! You just can’t cover both ears. Wear a helmet with a built-in headset that only covers one ear. A helmet will protect you on the road, you won’t have to wrestle with earbuds, and you can listen to music.

Carry a First Aid Kit

Even though you may not have a lot of storage space on your motorcycle, it is important to carry a first-aid kit. Not only can items like bandages help in the case of an accident, but the right items can also come in handy for other things. For example, a pair of tweezers can help with splinters, ticks, and bee stingers.

Other items to put in your first aid kit include:

  • Aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Burn gel
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Flashlight
  • Utility tool and knife
  • Sunscreen

Riding a motorcycle is one of the best ways to get around, especially in the beautiful, mountainous state of Colorado. Just make sure your fun isn’t dashed because you get into an accident. With the tips on this list, you can stay safe on your motorcycle so you can continue riding for many years to come.


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