Learn tips to safely and responsibly share Texas roads with motorcycles
In Henderson County and throughout East Texas, it's not uncommon to hear the hum of motorcycle engines echoing through the open roads. Riding a motorcycle can make for a very enjoyable experience, but it also comes with a sobering reality: motorcycle accidents are all too common on Texas roads, and other drivers are frequently to blame. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), an average of one Texas motorcyclist loses their life in a crash every day.
To combat this alarming statistic, TxDOT has launched the "Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles" campaign. This public awareness initiative aims to educate drivers on the importance of being aware of motorcyclists on the road and taking the necessary precautions to prevent accidents.
At Weinstein Law, we have seen firsthand the devastating consequences of motorcycle accidents. While the "Share the Road" campaign is crucial in promoting motorcycle safety in Texas, accidents will unfortunately still occur. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else's negligence, it is important to seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney as soon as possible. We are here to help.
Motorcycle accident statistics
Despite motorcycles making up just a small percentage of vehicles on the road, they are involved in a disproportionate number of accidents and fatalities in Texas. According to TxDOT, in 2022 alone, 562 motorcyclists lost their lives, and 2,422 were seriously injured in crashes. In fact, the average rate of motorcycle fatalities in Texas is higher than the national average, underscoring the need for increased awareness and caution on the part of drivers in passenger vehicles such as cars, trucks, and SUVs.
So what are the causes of motorcycle accidents involving other vehicles? One of the biggest factors is simply a lack of visibility. Motorcycles are smaller and harder to spot than other vehicles, making them more susceptible to being overlooked by drivers. Additionally, some drivers may misjudge the speed or distance of an approaching motorcycle, leading to a collision.
A related cause of motorcycle accidents is distracted driving. Whether it's checking a phone, adjusting the radio, or engaging in other activities while behind the wheel, distracted drivers may not be fully aware of their surroundings and are more likely to overlook a motorcycle.
Ultimately, the key to preventing motorcycle accidents is increased awareness and caution on the part of other drivers.
How to share the road with motorcyclists
The "Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles" campaign by TxDOT offers several safety tips to help drivers prevent accidents and keep everyone on the road safe:
- Take extra care when making left turns. Motorcyclists can be harder to see than other vehicles, so it is safest to let them pass before making a turn to avoid turning in front of a rider.
- Pay special attention at intersections. Nearly one-third of motorcycle fatalities occur at intersections, so drivers should always be on high alert in these areas and watch for any approaching motorcycles.
- Give driving your full attention. Avoid any distractions, such as using a phone or adjusting the radio. Even a momentary distraction can have deadly consequences on the road.
- Look twice before changing lanes. Checking mirrors and blind spots, as well as always using turn signals, can help prevent collisions and keep riders safe.
- Give motorcyclists plenty of room when passing. Drivers should move over to the passing lane and avoid crowding the motorcyclist's full lane.
- Stay back and 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 reduced speed.
- Obey posted speed limits and drive according to conditions. This means slowing down in inclement weather, adjusting speed for curves in the road, and being mindful of other drivers and riders.
It's worth noting that not all motorcycle wrecks involve contact between a motorcycle and another vehicle. No-contact accidents can occur when a motorcyclist is forced to take evasive action, such as swerving or laying the bike down to avoid a collision with another driver. These types of accidents can be just as serious as those involving contact with another vehicle.
Contact a Henderson County, TX motorcycle accident lawyer
In the event of a motorcycle accident, seeking legal help is crucial. Motorcycle wrecks can result in serious injuries or even death, and the physical, emotional, and financial toll can be overwhelming for victims and their families. That's why working with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve is important.
At Weinstein Law, we know how to investigate motorcycle accidents and are dedicated to advocating for our clients' rights. We understand the unique challenges injured motorcyclists face in the aftermath of a serious crash, and we are committed to providing compassionate and effective representation.
Our law firm can help you navigate the complex legal system, gather evidence to support your case, and negotiate with insurance companies for the financial compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, don't hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation. Our office is in Athens, TX, and we proudly serve clients throughout East Texas.