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Deadly motorcycle crashes down statewide from 2020

The aftermath of a single motorcycle collision at the corner of Constitution Avenue and...
Motorcycle fatalities have increased in the past few years, and officials are working to curtail that trend.(KKTV)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 1:17 PM MDT
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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KKTV) - In the midst of the “100 deadliest days on the road,” some good news from State Patrol.

Motorcycle deaths are down 18 percent from 2020 -- the worst year on state record for rider fatalities.

But it’s not good enough: To date, 59 motorcycle riders have been killed in Colorado in 2021. There were 72 at this point last year.

In an effort to further decrease motorcycle fatalities, State Patrol is launching a new campaign Wednesday to draw attention to the unique dangers riders face on the roads.

“The campaign recognizes that motorcycles are much smaller than cars and can be difficult to see. Often while turning left at an intersection drivers miss seeing a motorcycle, which results in a t-bone crash,” CDOT said.

“Every one of these motorcycle crashes could have been prevented,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “Taking a moment to check blind spots and using extra caution when pulling into an intersection can be the difference between life and death for a motorcyclist.”

Driving home that point, CDOT spoke with Justina Carney, who was involved in a deadly car-versus-motorcycle crash on I-70. CDOT says Carney was changing lanes and didn’t see a motorcyclist.

“It takes just a moment to carefully check your surroundings. Your mirrors can miss blind spots so be extra careful. This was a horrible crash that will live with me for the rest of my life,” Carney said.

The campaign, “Some Things are Hard to See,” is especially focused on El Paso, Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe and Larimer counties, where most motorcycle crashes tend to occur.

One hundred and forty motorcycle riders were killed in Colorado in 2020. El Paso County led the way last year in motorcycle fatalities with 26.

“Although motorcycles are only 3 percent of the registered vehicles in the state, motorcycle fatalities were 23 percent of the 622 total traffic fatalities in 2020,” CDOT said.

To prevent motorcycle crashes, CDOT asks drivers to:

- Allow extra space when following a motorcycle.

- Allow motorcycles the full width of a lane at all times.

- Use extra caution when turning left at an intersection -- motorcycles can be hard to see from a distance.

- Check twice for motorcycles before turning, changing lanes or merging with traffic.

- Never drive distracted or impaired.

State Patrol refers to the summer months as the “100 deadliest days on the road” due to those months being the peak months for motorcycle riders to hit Colorado’s roadways.

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