A motorcycle driver was killed in a two-vehicle crash yesterday morning on a mountain highway west of Denver. The fatal crash happened when a woman driving a Kia Rio pulled out of Goddard Ranch Court to head southbound on U.S. 285 and "into the path" of the northbound motorcycle. The motorcycle driver, who was wearing a helmet, died at the scene.
This was the second motorcycle accident in 24 hours; the first accident involved a single motorcycle running into a guardrail, leaving both people on the motorcycle dead. The crash occurred on the U.S. 34 West exit ramp near Greeley, late Sunday afternoon and forced the closure of the ramp for several hours.
These sad events are reminders that motorcycle safety should be a constant concern for both motorcyclists and other drivers at all times. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has many safety tips, including the following for drivers:
Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, and do not depend upon the brake lights to indicate de-acceleration. A motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.
Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks. And be aware that because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc). Take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic, whether you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections.
There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don’t "recognize" a motorcycle, it just doesn’t register. Consciously look for motorcycles, especially when checking traffic at an intersection.