Tuesday, July 14, 2020, AUSTIN — On average, one motorcyclist dies every day on Texas roads, and transportation officials are urging Texans to exercise caution and limit distractions while on the road, as traffic increases during the summer months.
The Texas Department of Transportation’s annual “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign, which is each July, aims to alert drivers to the risks that motorcyclists face and suggests safety precautions motorists can take to protect motorcyclists and themselves. The campaign reminds drivers that motorcycles are small and can be hard to see. In 2019, 412 motorcyclists were killed in Texas and more than 1,800 were seriously injured.
“The six-month period from May through October is the deadliest for motorcycle riders and accounted for 61 percent of motorcycle fatalities in Texas last year,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “That’s why we are urging drivers to Look Twice for Motorcycles-there’s a life riding on it.”
Safety experts say that crashes between motorcyclists and drivers often occur when drivers make left turns in front of an oncoming motorcyclist, misjudging the distance and speed of the motorcycle. Last year, 30 percent of Texas motorcycle fatalities occurred in an intersection or were intersection-related.
The highest numbers of fatal motorcycle crashes last year occurred in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Lubbock and Odessa.
TxDOT wants drivers to follow these safety tips to prevent vehicle/motorcycle crashes:
Take extra care when making a left turn. It’s easy to misjudge the speed and proximity of an oncoming motorcycle. It’s safest to let the motorcycle pass to avoid turning in front of the rider.
Pay special attention at intersections. Close to one-third of motorcycle fatalities happen at roadway intersections.
Give driving your full attention. Even a momentary distraction, such as answering a phone call or changing the radio station, can have deadly consequences.
Look twice when changing lanes. Check mirrors, check blind spots and always use turn signals.
Give motorcyclists room when passing them. Move over to the passing lane and don’t crowd the motorcyclist’s full lane.
Stay back. If you are behind a motorcycle, always maintain a safe following distance. When a motorcyclist downshifts instead of applying the brake to slow down, it can catch drivers off guard since there are no brake lights to signal that they are reducing their speed.
Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
If you, a family member, or loved one has been injured or has suffered a wrongful death or serious injury due to motorcycle or driving accidents, contact an attorney who specializes in these types of cases to review your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for damages, medical treatments, and lost wages due to the incident.
Lawyers at Carabin Shaw help clients get the care and attention they deserve after a serious incident. Our experienced attorneys represent people and families who have suffered catastrophic injuries and tragic wrongful deaths throughout the state of Texas. If you or a loved one has been injured contact us today at (800) 862-1260.