Due to a high number of collisions and fatalities, Texas is considered one of the most dangerous states for motorcyclists. As the warmer months bring more people on the roads, it is crucial for both drivers and motorcyclists in Texas to prioritize safety.
Let’s take a look at some of the causes of motorcycle crashes, ways to avoid them, and what to do if you can’t.
How often do motorcycle crashes occur in Texas?
On average, a motorcyclist is killed in a crash on Texas roads every day.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, over 61% of motorcycle fatalities in Texas occur between May and October.
However, riding a motorcycle in Texas is becoming more dangerous year-round. In Texas, there were 7,481 motorcycle crashes in 2020. Out of these crashes, 1,856 motorcyclists suffered serious injuries, while 482 lost their lives.
Texas has one of the highest rates of motorcycle deaths, with 16% of all vehicle fatalities in the state involving motorcyclists. Motorcyclists are 25 times more likely than passengers in cars to be killed in a crash and five times more likely to be injured.
To stay safe on the road, motorcyclists in Texas should know the typical reasons behind these crashes.
What are the common causes of motorcycle collisions?
Due to the lack of protection offered by motorcycles, riders are more vulnerable to injuries compared to people in passenger vehicles.
The increase in motorcycle fatalities can also be attributed to other factors, including the rise in the number of motorcyclists and the prevalence of distracted driving among motorists. Fatal crashes between drivers and motorcyclists frequently occur when a driver misjudges the speed and distance of an oncoming motorcycle, or when a driver is distracted by a mobile device.
However, not all motorcycle wrecks are caused by negligent drivers. Sometimes motorcycle riders also participate in dangerous behavior that increases the likelihood of crashes.
Some motorcyclists drive above the speed limit, lack proper licensing and training, fail to wear appropriate riding gear, and may ride under the influence. Many crashes occur when motorcyclists engage in reckless driving, such as swerving between cars or driving between designated lanes.
Fortunately, there are steps that everyone on the road can take to ensure motorcyclists’ safety.
How can you prevent motorcycle collisions?
To ensure the safety of motorcyclists and avoid collisions, drivers should exercise caution while taking left turns and approaching intersections. Oftentimes crashes occur because drivers simply don’t see a rider in their blind spots or misjudge the speed of an approaching motorcycle.
It’s important for drivers to stay fully focused on driving. Even small distractions like answering a phone call or adjusting the radio can be very dangerous. When changing lanes, always check your mirrors and blind spots and use your turn signals. Be sure to double-check for motorcyclists and give them enough space when passing.
In Texas, you must complete an approved motorcycle safety course to legally operate a motorcycle. Motorcyclists should also follow additional safety precautions, such as wearing appropriate protective gear and obeying traffic laws.
While riders should always prioritize wearing the proper safety gear — helmets, jackets, pants, and riding boots to start — they will not prevent high-speed collisions. That’s why it’s also important to practice defensive riding. Never assume that other drivers see you, because they may not.
What should you do when you’re involved in a motorcycle crash?
If you are in a motorcycle collision, it’s important to speak with a personal injury lawyer who can clarify the rights and responsibilities of everyone involved. To ensure the safety of motorcyclists throughout the year, get in touch with a qualified attorney today.
Texas may be a beautiful state to ride in, but it’s certainly one of the most dangerous. Nevertheless, you can stay safe on the roads this riding season by following these tips. With the proper precautions and awareness, you can have a pleasant and secure motorcycle ride in Texas.