DENVER (KDVR) — Motorcycle deaths in Colorado are the highest they’ve ever been, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Sam Cole, a traffic safety manager with CDOT, said this year alone the department has recorded 77 motorcycle deaths.
“This isn’t good news,” Cole said. “Seventy-seven deaths so far this year and we’re only about halfway through the summer. This year we’re trending a little bit lower when it comes to motorcycle deaths than we were last year, but we do expect that number to be about the same at the end of the year.”
Last year was a record-breaking year according to CDOT with 149 recorded motorcycle deaths.
“Motorcycles are only about 3% of the vehicles on our roadways, yet they’re about 20% of the deaths that we see on our roadways,” Cole said. “That one fact shows you how dangerous it is.”
Cole said deaths seem to peak in the summer months and many are the fault of both the motorcyclist and the driver.
“When it comes to motorcyclists, we’re seeing riders that are just riding too fast, riding reckless or they don’t have helmets on, or in some cases, they’re riding impaired,” Cole said. “When it comes to drivers, they’re just not paying attention. They’re just not checking their blind spots.”
With peak riding season underway, CDOT is urging motorcyclists and drivers to practice safe habits on the road like obeying traffic laws, slowing down and avoiding distractions.
“There really needs to be more awareness on the part of both drivers of vehicles as well as motorcyclists,” Cole said. “We need to look out for one another.”
Right now, Cole said they are seeing lots of motorcyclists on the highway heading up to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.