Popular Biker Attractions Draw Motorcyclists to Austin
The popular ROT Biker Rally, or Republic of Texas Biker Rally, here in Austin, Texas, is the biggest motorcycle rally in the state of Texas and attracts motorcyclists from all over the nation. In 2015, the “turnstile rally” brought an estimated 40,000 participants to the city of Austin, enjoying everything from long, scenic rides through the hill country to congregating downtown for the big party on Congress Ave. They’re known for doing it big, and in classic rock n’ roll style, and this year is no exception. Friday night attendees can see Chevy Metal, and Saturday closes out with the writers of “Born to Be Wild” John Kay and Steppenwolf and guitarist Robby Krieger of the Doors.
Getting the Most Out of Your RoT Rally Weekend
The weekend festivities will bring in 40k, possibly more, motorcycle riders to the city. Many will be concentrated downtown for events however with attractions such as rides along the Texas Hill Country, be prepared to see an increase in Motorcycle traffic across Central Texas. If you are planning to attend RoT Rally 2016, here’s our 5 tips to have a fun, safe time.
- Sun screen and Sun Block: Nobody wants to look like a lobster riding a Motorcycle. Do bring a hat, and don’t forget that your best protection from motorcycle injury is a well-fitting full-face helmet.
- Ever accidentally locked your keys in your compartment or left them at the restaurant? Don’t get hit with a locksmith fee. Plan ahead and bring and extra pair.
- If you’re camping: Bug spray and ant killer. Any Texan will tell you, there’s almost nothing is worse than stepping in a fire ant mound. Bring ant killer to lay down in case you find any ant mounds near your camp grounds.
- Drink lots of water. You may enjoy an adult beverages that causes you to visit the restroom, but that doesn’t mean you are properly hydrated. Prevent a crash-like hangover by drinking plenty of water the night before.
- Motorcycle Crashes, Fatalities Saw Spike in 2012
Despite extra safety efforts in 2012, motorcycle crashes killed four and injured several others.
One of the crashes occurred in Gillespie County after a man lost control of his motorcycle while turning. Three other drivers were killed inside of Austin city limits. In an alcohol-related crash, the passenger suffered from serious injuries.
Compared to previous years, 2012 was particularly dangerous in terms of traffic fatalities during RoT Rally.
Increased Risk of Motorcycle Accidents During Ride of Texas Rally
The growing popularity of rallies such as this one and the popularity of motorcycles in general mean an increasing chance of motorcycle accidents. The city of Austin takes motorcycle safety seriously. Because motorcyclists are more exposed to the road, the dangers of operating a motorcycle differ greatly from riding a bicycle or driving a car.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a motorcyclist is 37 times more likely to die in an accident than a car passenger or driver
- In 2008, there were 480 motorcycle rider fatalities of which 38% were not wearing helmets.
- The state of Texas does not require by law for motorcycle riders to wear helmets, but the NHTSA estimates that helmets are 37% effective in preventing fatalities in motorcycle accidents.
Among many injuries caused by motorcycle accidents including paralysis, need for amputations, or even death, closed head injuries can occur when a motorcyclist is not wearing a helmet. Many brain and closed head injuries can go undetected, so if you are in a motorcycle accident, it is best to get checked by a doctor immediately. The majority of motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle, many due to other drivers’ negligence or carelessness.
It is always a good idea to regularly check your motorcycle insurance policy limits. Coverage options include Liability, Property Damage, Uninsured/Underinsured, Collision, Comprehensive, Medical, and Umbrella. Umbrella, the best option if you can afford it, covers cases in which damages are extensive, and you will know you are covered no matter what the cost.
Austin police are also asking all drivers, whether on two wheels or four, to drive carefully this weekend. Extra traffic, an influx of visitors, and alcohol may create dangerous conditions on the road, making it even more critical to be aware of one’s surroundings.
If you or someone you know is in a motorcycle accident, obtain medical attention immediately if you suspect any injuries have occurred, and contact a lawyer at the McMinn Law Firm to go over all your options.