LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) — More people are dying in motorcycle accidents in Texas even though fewer motorcycle accidents are taking place, said information released Tuesday from Texas Department of Transportation.
On average, a motorcyclist is killed in a crash on Texas roads every day. Last year 482 died. Motorcyclists account for 12% of traffic fatalities in the state.
As part of the campaign “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles,” TxDOT is asking motorists to be aware of motorcyclists in hopes of reducing deaths of motorcyclists in accidents. May is also National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
“May through October is an especially dangerous period for motorcyclists in Texas,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “Of all the motorcyclists deaths in Texas during 2020, more than 61% happened in that period. It’s so important to remember that these motorcyclists don’t have the same protections that drivers in vehicles have, and that’s why we’re urging all motorists to stay watchful and alert when traveling alongside motorcycles so everyone can reach their destination safely.”
According to The Texas Transportation Institute, deadly crashes between motorcyclists and drivers often occur when drivers misjudge the motorcycle’s distance and speed and turns in front of an motorcyclist.
TxDOT has these safety tips for drivers to protect motorcyclists and prevent crashes:
- Take extra care when making a left turn. It’s safest to let the motorcycle pass to avoid turning in front of the rider.
- Pay special attention at intersections. Nearly one in three motorcycle fatalities happens at a roadway intersection.
- Give driving your full attention. Even a momentary distraction, such as answering a phone call or changing the radio station, can have deadly consequences.
- Look twice when changing lanes. Check mirrors, check blind spots, and always use turn signals.
- Give motorcyclists room when passing them. Move over to the passing lane and don’t crowd the motorcyclist’s full lane.
- Stay back. If you’re behind a motorcycle, always 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.
- Slow down. Obey posted speed limits and drive to conditions.
“Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” is a component of #EndTheStreakTX, a social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.
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