New Colorado Law Will Allow Lane Filtering for Motorcycles Starting August 7, 2024

Our Denver motorcycle accident attorneys at Donaldson Law, LLC, monitor new laws that may impact how our Colorado clients can pursue damages for their injury or wrongful death claims.

One new law that impacts all motorists is that starting August 7, 2024, motorcyclists in Colorado can lane filter after Governor Jared Polis recently signed a three-year trial of the maneuver into law. Here, we discuss what Colorado’s signed bill, SB24-0749, will allow motorcyclists to do.

Motorcyclists Overtake or Pass Another Vehicle Between Two Lanes

When Can Colorado Motorcyclists Overtake or Pass Another Vehicle Between Two Lanes?

Starting August 7, 2024, motorcyclists will be allowed to overtake or pass another motor vehicle between two lanes of vehicles under these conditions:

  • The other motor vehicle is stopped.
  • The road has lanes wide enough to pass safely.
  • The motorcycle is going 15 mph or less.
  • Conditions permit prudent operation of the bike while overtaking or passing.

The signed law also says motorcycle riders must not overtake or pass:

  • On the right shoulder.
  • To the right of a vehicle in the farthest right-hand lane if the highway is not limited access.
  • In a lane of traffic moving in the opposite direction.

The Colorado Department of Transportation will collect safety data to evaluate the measure during the trial period. The bill calls for repealing the law on September 1, 2027.

What is the Difference Between Lane Filtering and Lane Splitting, and Are They Safe?

Lane filtering occurs when a motorcyclist rides between stationary vehicles. Although there is no significant study on lane filtering due to restrictions on vehicle speeds, it would be reasonable to expect that it is safer than splitting.

Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist rides between moving vehicles. The most notable research on lane splitting was conducted at UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center.

The highlights of the study include:

  • Lane splitting is relatively safe if traffic moves at 50 mph or less and motorcyclists do not exceed the speed of other vehicles by more than 15 mph.
  • Motorcyclists going more than 15 mph faster than other vehicles significantly increased the risk of injury.
  • About 17% of motorcycle crashes involved lane splitting.
  • Lane splitting reduces rear-end collisions.

Introducing the maneuver takes getting used to by vehicle drivers and motorcyclists, which may increase collisions when vehicle drivers initiate lane changes without first checking. All Colorado motorists need to understand the new law to help prevent crashes and keep each other safe on our roadways.

Contact Our Personal Injury Attorney in Denver Today

While we hope you never need us, if you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by negligence, contact our skilled personal injury lawyers in Denver at Donaldson Law, LLC by calling (720) 458-5000 or contact us online to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case.

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Can I Pursue a Colorado Motorcycle Accident Claim if I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?

At Donaldson Law, LLC, our Denver motorcycle accident attorneys represent clients throughout Colorado who have been injured or lost a loved one in collisions caused by negligent drivers.

Unfortunately, motorcycle crashes, injuries, and fatalities happen more often than they should on our roadways, and those across the country.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists were about 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and four times more likely to be injured.

According to the NHTSA, last year there were 5,574 motorcycle accident fatalities throughout the U.S. In Colorado alone, there were 140 motorcycle collision fatalities, including those involving 63 helmeted motorcyclists and 77 non-helmeted motorcyclists.

Here is what Colorado motorcyclists need to know about their rights to pursue the negligent driver who caused their crash for the damages they suffered — whether they were wearing a helmet or not.

What is the Motorcycle Cycle Helmet Law in Colorado?

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, riders aged 18 and over are not required to wear helmets. However, if the motorcycle operator or passengers are under age 18, they must wear DOT-approved helmets.

Can I Pursue a Motorcycle Accident and Injury Claim if I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?

While most riders know that wearing a DOT-approved helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 69% and the risk of death by 42%, helmet usage declined from 71% to 68% nationwide over a single year.

In Colorado, eligible motorcyclists can decide for themselves whether they wear a helmet while riding.

When riders are injured by negligent drivers who were distracted, speeding, impaired, or simply not paying attention to their surroundings, the rider may be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage whether they were wearing a helmet or not.

Simply stated, in Colorado, wearing a helmet — or the lack of one — does not impact a motorcyclist’s eligibility to file a personal injury claim for the damages he or she suffered.

The difference may be, the rider’s injuries could be more severe, which means their recovery needs will be more significant.

What are the Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries When the Rider Is Not Wearing a Helmet?

A recent study conducted by a neurosurgeon reported that riders who did not wear helmets had twice as many injuries to the neck, also known as the cervical spine, and were far more susceptible to Traumatic Brain Injuries, concussions, contusions, and penetration injuries to the head.

These life-changing injuries can require lengthy medical care and extended time away from work that injury victims should not be responsible for paying out of pocket. We can help determine your eligibility to file a personal injury claim during a free consultation.

Contact Our Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Denver, Colorado Today

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Colorado, or tragically lost a loved one who was riding with or without a helmet, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver who caused the crash.

Contact our skilled personal injury lawyers in Denver at Donaldson Law, LLC by calling (720) 458-5000 or contact us online to schedule a free confidential consultation to discuss your case.

Important Motorcycle Safety Tips for Colorado Riders

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 100,000 people are injured on motorcycles throughout the United States each year.

Last year, motorcycle collisions were responsible for 4,985 fatalities across the country, and according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, motorcyclists represent just 3% of the vehicles, but makeup 23% of all deaths on Colorado roadways — accounting for 103 over 12 months.

These staggering statistics require change, and at Donaldson Law, LLC, we believe public safety measures, like the collaborations between local businesses and the CDOT, can help motorists travel safely alongside motorcyclists.

Our personal injury attorneys in Denver applaud community outreach efforts like these and are committed to providing safety tips for travelers of all types throughout Colorado, so they will never need our services.

Here are a few tips for new and long-time riders to stay safe on our roadways.

Select a Motorcycle that Fits Your Physical Size and Riding Experience in Denver, Colorado

Your height, weight, and overall riding ability should dictate the type of motorcycle you purchase and ride regularly.

Riding a motorcycle that is too large or has too much horsepower can cause both inexperienced and veteran riders to lose control of the bike, which can cause serious injuries in and out of traffic.

Always Wear Properly Fitting Safety Gear

Much like the motorcycle you choose should fit your size and stature, the gear you purchase should fit properly to provide optimal protection.

Our Colorado Motorcycle Laws do not require riders age 18 and over to wear helmets. If the motorcycle operator or any passengers are under age 18, they must wear U.S. Department of Transportation approved helmets.

Our laws also require some form of eye protection for all riders and passengers, which may include a visor on a helmet, goggles, or eyeglasses with safety glass or plastic lenses.

Other recommended protective gear may include:

  • Jackets
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Pants

Fully Inspect Your Motorcycle Before Each Ride in Denver, Colorado

Before each ride, inspect the motorcycle’s mirrors, lights, turn signals, tires, brakes, throttle, and clutch to ensure they are functioning properly.

Look for any signs of wear and tear that could be hazardous during your ride and place your plans on hold if it cannot be easily fixed.

Never Ride a Motorcycle Under the Influence of Alcohol in Denver, Colorado

While most motorcycle accidents are caused by passenger vehicle drivers who violate the motorcyclist’s right-of-way, fail to detect motorcyclists in traffic, turn left in front of motorcyclists, or overtake the rider’s lane, motorcyclists can follow one single tip to help keep themselves safe in traffic: Never ride a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol.

Last year’s NHTSA crash stats reported that motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes accounted for 27% of alcohol-impaired drivers — the highest percentage of all vehicle types.

What’s more, is 43% of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes were alcohol-impaired.

Obey All Motorcycle and Traffic Laws

The Colorado Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles provides instructions on how to obtain motorcycle endorsements for new riders.

The endorsement requires applicants to have a valid Colorado driver’s license and to pass both a written and riding skills test.

The alternative is to complete the Motorcycle Operator Safety Training, or MOST, course and present the original MOST license waiver card when obtaining a new license with the motorcycle endorsement added.

Whether you are a new rider or one who has been riding for decades, it is important to know each of the Colorado Motorcycle Laws and obey all traffic signs and signals while riding.

Contact Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Denver, Colorado at Donaldson Law, LLC for a free confidential consultation

If you have been injured or lost a loved one while riding due to another driver’s negligence, contact our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys in Denver, Colorado at Donaldson Law, LLC by calling 303-458-5000 or contact us online to schedule a free confidential consultation today.