Whether you enjoy the ride on Hwy. 160 heading to Pagosa Springs or prefer the views of Hwy. 550 on the way to Molas Pass, it’s hard to beat the thrill of riding a motorcycle through southwestern Colorado. Durango and its surrounding area boasts some of the best high pass motorcycle riding in the entire state of Colorado. Whether you prefer the smooth pavement of the highway or seek out the hidden byways of dirt and gravel side roads, Durango offers about 200 days a year where the weather is perfect for getting out on your bike and opening the throttle.
That said, Colorado roads are also notorious for motorcycle crashes. Though motorcycles account for only 3 percent of the vehicles on Colorado roads, they are involved in 18 percent of fatalities in traffic accidents.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, call motorcycle accident attorney Jordon Harlan for a free discussion about your case. You may be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries you have suffered.
In La Plata County (especially Highway 550), there are plenty of sights to distract motorists. Motorcycle crashes can easily happen because someone in another vehicle was staring out their window at a distant snow-capped peak or at a black bear retreating into the woods. Because of this fact, motorcyclists must be extra vigilant in areas of high tourism.
Sharing the road with people who are unfamiliar with the area means extra danger for you, as these drivers may be ill-equipped to handle the terrain or weather in your area. They may make sudden turns on side streets or even fail to pay attention when parking their car. There is a whole section of Colorado law dealing with accidents that happen when a motorcycle rider collides with another vehicle’s door.
If you’ve been injured on your motorcycle as the result of another motorist’s door being opened, according to Colorado law they could be charged with a class B traffic infraction and you could be entitled to a cash settlement. Jordon is familiar with these laws and will work to get you compensated.
Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders
- Beware of unpredictable weather. Even if the sun is out when you leave, at high elevations a snowfall can easily take you by surprise. Use common sense—if you’re planning to ride during rough weather, stick to the lower roads.
- Respect the altitude. Getting up a mountainside is exhilarating, but it can also bring the dizziness, nausea and fatigue. Altitude sickness can affect anyone. Bring plenty of water on your ride and if you feel any symptoms, pull over to a safe area and take a break.
- Take a training course. Statistics show that riders who have taken a motorcycle training course have a better chance of staying out of motorcycle accidents. If you are new to motorcycle riding, getting some training from a licensed local rider can give you the insight you need to ride safely.
- Wear a helmet. Colorado state law does not require motorcycle riders over the age of 18 to wear helmets. But in the wake of Colorado’s deadliest year for motorcycle accidents, it is important for all road warriors to take motorcycle safety seriously.
Stay safe and if you are involved in a motorcycle accident, contact Jordon Harlan to understand your legal options.