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Eight ways drivers can help prevent motorcycle crashes

In many Colorado motorcycle accidents, the riders are only half of the equation. Car and truck drivers are the other half.

While motorcycle riders certainly have the responsibility to look out for their own safety, they are not the only ones with a duty to pay attention. Numerous fatal accidents and catastrophic injuries can be averted when drivers take certain steps.

The Colorado Department of Transportation offers a number of tips for making the roadways safer for motorcyclists. Here are eight of those recommendations:

  1. Make a point of looking for motorcycles whenever you're on the road. Sometimes part of the bike is hidden from view by traffic, so look for glimpses of a helmet, bike tires or other signs. 
  2. Always check your blind spots when you change lanes. Don't assume what you see in the mirror is the whole picture.
  3. If you see any hazards on the road (ice, debris, etc.), consider how it may affect a motorcyclist and take appropriate action to move out of the way.
  4. Leave at least a two-second gap between you and any motorcycle rider. (At night, it's best to increase the gap to four or five seconds.)
  5. Be particularly cautious when making left turns, since this is when many motorcycle accidents occur.
  6. Yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists when appropriate, just like you would do with any other vehicle.
  7. Motorcyclists often count on other drivers' turn signals to tell them what to expect, so use them.
  8. Don't assume that cars and motorcycles can drive side-by-side in the same lane. It's actually illegal.

If you have already been involved in a collision with a motorcycle in Colorado, learn more about your legal rights and your options by contacting a skilled personal injury attorney.

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