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What you pay for auto insurance is largely based on what kind of risk the company predicts you will be, based on known factors like your driving history, the kind of car you drive, your age and gender, your marital status and where you live.
Carole Walker, RMIIA

Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle Statistics

  • In 2021, there were 5,932 motorcyclists killed — 14% of all traffic fatalities. NHTSA data show that this is the highest number of motorcyclists killed since at least 1975 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • The use of DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets was 64.9% in 2021, not statistically different at the 0.05 level from 69.0% in 2020.
  • In 2020, 40 percent of those motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets.
  • An estimated 82,528 motorcyclists were injured in 2020, a 2-percent decrease from 83,814 motorcyclists injured in 2019.

  • There were 8.3 million motorcycles on the road in 2020, compared with 8.5 million in 2019.


  • In Colorado, 149 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2022, representing 20% of Colorado's total traffic fatalities, but only 3% of the state's vehicle registrations. So far this year motorcycle deaths are down 22% compared to this time last year. to date, 21 motorcyclists have lost their lives on Colorado roads, down from 27 fatalities at this time last year.
  • 75 of the 148 motorcycle fatalities in 2022 involved riders not wearing helmets.
  • Last year, the counties with the most motorcycle deaths were El Paso (25), Jefferson (19), Adams (12), Denver (12) and Arapahoe (11)

  • Motorcyclist fatalities increased from 137 in 2021 to 149 in 2022, a 8.75% increase.
  • In 2016, 40% (46) of motorcycle operators killed in Colorado did not have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver's license.
  • 114 motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes were determined to be “at fault.”
  • 58 of the fatal motorcycle crashes involved only the motorcycle and no other vehicle. (41%)
  • In 2020, 36 motorcycle operators, (27.06%) that were killed in a fatal crash tested positive for alcohol (BAC >=0.08).
  • In Colorado, motorcycle registrations have decreased over the past few years, with 171,585 motorcycles registered in 2021.

Motorcycle Rider Safety Tips:

  • Complete a motorcycle rider education and training course.
  • Wear a helmet and protective gear.
  • Ride where you can be seen and avoid motorists' blind spots.
  • Never share a lane with a car or drive on the shoulder.
  • Signal before changing lanes and never weave between lanes.
  • Never mix motorcycles and alcohol.
  • Be aware that riding with a passenger requires even more skill than riding alone.

Motorist Safety Tips:

  • Give the motorcyclist a full lane of travel.
  • Look for the motorcyclist on the highway, at intersections, when a motorcyclist may be making a left turn, and when a motorcyclist may be changing lanes.
  • Clearly signal your intentions.
  • Predict evasive actions motorcycles must make to avoid road obstructions.
  • Don't follow motorcycles too closely.

Motorcycle Helmets: In States without universal helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists killed in 2020 were not wearing helmets, as compared to 11% in States with universal helmet laws.

Motorcycle Helmet Use Laws: According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 19 states and the District of Columbia had laws on the books requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets as of June 2018. In another 28 states only people under a specific age (mostly between 17 and 20 years of age) were required to wear helmets. Three states (Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire) had no helmet use laws. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study covering 10 states found that when universal helmet laws, which pertain to all riders, were repealed, helmet use rates dropped from 99 percent to 50 percent. In states where the universal law was reinstated, helmet use rates rose to above 95 percent.

Motorcycle License Laws

Each state has its own requirement for licensing motorcycles or motor-driven vehicles (bikes with less powerful motors). For example, in Colorado:

1. Pass the written test at a Driver's License office, purchase a motorcycle instruction permit, pass a drive test at a Driver's License office or with a 3rd-party tester and pay the fee to add the endorsement to your license.

Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles Offices: List of locations and services provided, including whether or not they offer motorcycle drive tests.

2. Enroll in a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) training course and, after successful completion of the course, present your MSF certification card at a Driver's License office. When you present your MSF certification card at a Driver's License office, the written and drive tests are waived. Pay the fee to add the endorsement to your license. Colorado law requires minors under 18 to purchase and hold a motorcycle instruction permit for 12 months before adding the motorcycle endorsement to their license. Minors under 16 must be under the direct supervision of the MSF motorcycle instructor at all times while driving a motorcycle.

Motorcycle Insurance

Increasingly, drivers are purchasing motorcycles and "motor-driven vehicles" - bikes with a motor, but less powerful than a motorcycle. Basically, If you use your vehicle on public roads, be sure to carry some form of liability insurance. Call your insurer to discuss options.

Colorado requires a minimum amount of liability coverage to pay for damages you cause to someone else, but it's a good idea to talk to your insurance agent or company about additional coverage for you and your passengers. Motorcycle insurance is widely available. Most of the top ten auto insurers offer motorcycle insurance, either as an endorsement to a personal automobile policy or as a separate policy. Many companies offer discounts from 10 to 15 percent on motorcycle insurance for graduates of training courses, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) rider course.

Additional Information