Last year marked the deadliest year on record for motorcyclists in Colorado, with 137 riders killed.

Now the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is launching a new campaign – which coincides with May’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month – highlighting the importance of wearing a helmet.

Motorcycle deaths last year were 33 percent higher than in 2019 and, despite motorcycles making up only three percent of the registered vehicles in the state, they made up 22 percent of the traffic fatalities in 2020.

The “Aftermath” campaign will dispel misconceptions about wearing a helmet, such as they are “too restrictive”, by showing the devastating consequences of not wearing one.

“The research and data show helmet use as the most important factor in the survivability of a motorcycle crash,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “Head injuries are common in these crashes. So, whether you are riding around town or cross country, we encourage riders to always wear a helmet.”

New data shows that 52 percent of motorcycle riders killed in 2019 were not wearing helmets. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 83 motorcyclists’ lives could have been saved in Colorado between 2015-2017 if all riders had worn helmets. Instead, 334 motorcyclists were killed during that period, most not wearing helmets.