Recently, a national news source reported that Allen West, a former Florida state representative who is currently running for chair of the Texas Republican Party, suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident. Mr. West was traveling behind another motorcyclist who suddenly braked after a car changed lanes in front of him. The sudden braking resulted in a chain-reaction, causing Mr. West to slam into the bike in front of him. Emergency responders airlifted him to a hospital where he received treatment for a concussion, bone fractures, and several lacerations. This incident exemplifies the serious threat Texas motorcyclists face every day they get on a bike. Individuals who suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident because of another’s negligence or recklessness may be entitled to recover damages from the at-fault party through a personal injury lawsuit.
When it comes to Texas motorcycle accidents, there are three leading causes: failure to abide by traffic laws, driver error, and dangerous road conditions. Motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur when a motorist is disobeying traffic laws, such as speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, using a cell phone or other device while driving, failing to yield, and tailgating. Additionally, accidents often occur when a driver commits an error, such as quickly changing lanes, aggressive driving, following too closely, and distracted driving. Lastly, road conditions also affect the likelihood of an accident. Driving during inclement weather such as dense fog or heavy rain, road obstructions, sharp curves, and poorly maintained roads also lead to a higher chance of an accident.
Of course, all Texas motorists should abide by traffic laws. That said, motorcyclists should take extra care when operating the bikes because they are more likely to suffer serious injuries or death in the event of an accident. While motorcyclists who are over 21-years-old do not need to wear a helmet if they complete a safety course or purchased health insurance that covers motorcycle accidents, wearing a helmet is still a good idea because it has been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of serious injuries. Notably, Texas law forbids motorcyclists from lane splitting, which is when a biker drives in between lanes to pass traffic.