Tips on motorcycle safety during road construction season in Colorado

STATEWIDE — The project team heading construction work on the Colorado Highway 67 Overlay Project this week is reminding everyone to be aware that these areas are popular with motorcyclists and to be cautious and follow the construction rules of the road.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), there were 125 motorcycle fatalities in 2016 — a 15 percent increase from the number of motorcycle fatalities in 2015, and a record all-time high for Colorado.

The majority of motorcycle fatalities in 2016 happened between the months of May and October, which is also prime road construction season in Colorado.

CDOT has issued the following tips to help motorcyclists safe on roadways:

  • Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle.
  • Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width—never try to share a lane.
  • Perform a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections.
  • Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
  • Allow more following distance – three or four seconds – when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
  • Never tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
  • Never drive while distracted.

Motorcyclists can also increase their safety by:

  • Avoiding riding in poor weather conditions;
  • Wearing brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet;
  • Using turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it;
  • Combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves;
  • Using reflective tape and stickers to increase conspicuity;
  • Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers; and
  • Never driving while impaired.

The Colorado Highway 67 construction overlay project in Teller and Douglas counties will take place during daylight hours at two work sites. Site A (Cripple Creek to Divide) is Monday through Thursday with no weekend work scheduled. Site B between Woodland Park and Westcreek will observe daylight hours Monday through Friday. There will be intermittent lane closures and short delays.

To learn more about the project, click here or call the project hotline at 719-358-2444.

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