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WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) — Police in Westminster confirmed to the Problem Solvers the intersection of 80th Avenue and Oakwood Drive was the site of a deadly motorcycle crash on Aug. 17.

It adds to the rising statistic in the climbing number of fatal motorcycle crashes this year.

“I don’t think bikers would be bikers if they thought, OK, this could be my last ride,” Lori Montoya, with the BikerDown Foundation, said.

For her, and for the people who ride them, they’re getting more time on their motorcycles now than ever before.

“This isn’t just a weekend thing. We also have warmer temperatures now,” Montoya said. “We have them being able to ride more year-round than they’ve ever been able to ride.”

More riding time throughout the year means higher odds of fatal crashes across the state.

AAA Colorado and the state’s Department of Transportation are reporting just that.

AAA reported 71 fatal motorcycle crashes up until late July 2021. That number went up by four deaths up until July 2022, and the trend could get worse by the end of this year.

Distracted driving, underinsurance play impacts

“Get the heck off the phone,” Montoya said, alluding to distracted drivers.

“People are constantly on their cell phones; they’re texting and driving,” she said. “There’s many forms of distracted driving besides using your cell phone.”

Distracted driving isn’t the only reason why she said deadly crashes are happening more often each year.

“We’re also seeing a rise in rider error only because of gravel, not navigating the turns and things like that,” Montoya said.

The rise in crashes isn’t just impacting safety on the roads. Uninsured or underinsured drivers leave riders who survive crashes with little or no help financially.

“I get two to three help requests per day of injured riders needing assistance,” Montoya said.