Motorcyclists and Motorists in Texas: Sharing the Road
Warmer weather is on its way across the country. As more motorcyclists pull the iron horse out of the garage and hit the highway, National Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month reminds us of the responsibility all motorists take when they use Texas roadways. It isn’t just during Ride of Texas Rally, or during the month of May when Texans should remember to “share the road” with motorcyclists.
As of May 1 2016, there have been 21 traffic fatalities in Austin, TX. 1/3 of those deaths were motorcyclists. As of May 1 in 2015, Austin had witnessed more than 30 traffic fatalities. Though Austin has seen far fewer traffic deaths in 2016, one is too many. Watching out for more vulnerable motorists, such as motorcyclists, is one way our community can prevent traffic fatalities in 2016.
Texas leads the country as one of the top three states for number of motorcyclists out on the road. The Texas hill country’s rolling hills and our almost year-round beautiful weather has landed Texas as third in the leading number of motorcyclists. Texas has issued 445,395 licenses across the state according to 2014 data. Unfortunately, beyond the glory and freedom felt while on a motorcycle, motorcyclists are more often victims of serious injury or death in a motor vehicle wreck. In 2014, 463 motorcyclists were killed while operating their motorcycles on Texas roads.
Data: Motorcyclists in Traffic Fatalities vs Drivers of Cars Fatalities
Why do motorcyclists become the victims of traffic accidents and crashes? It could be the vulnerability of rider to the road. Police reports indicate that some motorcyclists start their trip without a helmet or with a helmet that is not properly secured. Of the 463 traffic fatalities that occurred in 2014, half were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.
Here are some more motorcycle related statistics:
- Motorcycle accidents have decreased substantially over the last two years from 5,312 in 2008 to an estimated 3,600 in 2010.
- The average engine size in 1990 was 769cc compared to 959 cc in 2001. As engines sizes increased 24 percent, deaths over that same period increased roughly 55 percent.
- 60 percent of deaths from single vehicle accidents occur at night and many of them are the result of failing to properly navigate a curve
- According to one study, the recent decline in motorcycle deaths is the result of fewer recreational riders following the recession
- More than 96 percent of motorcycle accidents result in some kind of injury to the rider
- There were 463 motorcyclists (operators and passengers) killed in 2014. Fifty percent (50%) of motorcyclists that were killed were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.
Motorcycle Safety: Prevent Risk of Serious Injury on Motorcycle
Don’t forget that even a sober driver may make a mistake or encounter a drunk driver. Follow these safety precautions to enjoy the freedom of a motorcycle, while eliminating some risks of personal injury or wrongful death.
- Wear a Helmet. Remember that half of all motorcycle deaths occur to riders who were not wearing a properly secured helmet? Even when wearing a helmet, motorcycles simply don’t provide the same level of protection as a motor vehicle. Motorcyclists face greater risk for personal injury in a wreck or crash. Simply having a helmet isn’t enough. Here’s our tips on choosing a helmet that could provide life-saving protection to your head and brain. It is important to get the proper fit on a motorcycle helmet. A full-face helmet will offer greater protection than three-quarter or half-shell styles of helmets. Cutting costs by buying a used used helmet is not the best place to cut down. If a helmet has been in a crash before, it’s protective properties have been compromised – putting your head at greater risk for injury.
- Wear protective gear. Leather isn’t just about the looks – it’s about safety too. Wearing protective gear such as boots that grip, sturdy leather jackets, and memory foam armor will give save your skin in a tumble.
Ride sober. Preventing injury starts before getting on the road.Riding smart means riding sober. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on roads nationally. Riding sober is just one way to ride smart. Riders should take great care to not be impaired by drugs or alcohol on the road. Awareness and reaction time to disasters on the road can be key for motorcyclists in Texas where road speeds often go above 70 miles per hour.
Even with all of the best gear and proper safety equipment, motorcyclists have a disadvantage on the roadways. Other motorists may not see a motorcyclist, or moped in their blind spot or while entering a left turn. Know how to proceed or who to call if you or a loved one is ever involved in a motorcycle accident in Austin,Texas.
What to Do if Involved in Motorcycle Accident or Crash
- Documenting Your Personal Injury or Motorcycle Crash: Motorcycle accidents can often be more traumatic than car crashes. However, if you are able be sure to review our accident checklist to find tips on what to do after a wreck. Documenting your personal injury is an important step, and will help your legal representatives advocate for the best settlement possible.
- Seek Medical Attention for Injuries in Motorcycle Wreck: It is possible that some injuries may not be visible after a motorcycle wreck. Experts advice that following a crash on a motorcycle, it is a good idea to
- Purchase Motorcycle Insurance: Best Plans for Recovery. Before ever going out on the road, there’s some protection that isn’t quite as literal as a helmet – but perhaps just as important. Purchasing the right insurance policy can be a confusing process with so much information on the web. Review this page on motorcycle insurance coverage tips to review the coverage you already have or to assess what type of insurance to buy.
- National Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month: How Drivers Can Prevent Injury
As a driver, it is important to “share the road” with motorcycle riders and bicyclists. Motorcycle riders tend to become less visible in rain. Leave more space between your vehicle in the next in rain.
Check before you change lanes. Ever heard that “objects in your mirror may be closer than they appear?” Well it’s true. It’s good practice to check for motorcycles and other vehicles in the lane next to you before changing lanes.
Reports of motorcycle crashes in Austin, TX in 2016 indicate that drivers crashed with motorcyclists while pulling out onto a turn or backing out into a roadway.
Practice simple safety precautions as you share the road with motorcyclists to prevent accident and injury.
- Personal Injury Lawyers in Austin Texas
We are experts in Texas Motorcycle Regulations and representing motorcyclists in court.
If you have been injured in a serious motorcycle accident as the result of another negligent driver on the road, despite the weather conditions, contact The McMinn Law Firm today. Your hardships and injuries deserve a chance of just compensation. Call today for a free case evaluation.