Things You Need to Know About Riding a Motorcycle in the Lone Star State
It’s no secret that getting on a motorcycle is far more dangerous than hopping in a passenger vehicle. In addition to the fact that motorcycles are more difficult to control in an accident, there’s the sheer weight differential. The average motorcycle is about 750 pounds, whereas cars come in around 4,000 pounds, SUVs at 8,500 pounds, and fully-loaded semis at up to 85,000 pounds.
The most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (for calendar year 2018) indicates that a person on a motorcycle, whether as driver or passenger, is five times more likely to suffer an injury, and 27 times more likely to die of injuries suffered in an accident. On average, someone dies every day somewhere in Texas in a motorcycle accident, with the upcoming months (May through October) accounting for the vast majority of motorcycle-related deaths in Texas.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), about one in every three motorcycle accidents in the state occur at intersections, typically as a result of other drivers pulling into the path of an oncoming biker. One common cause of such accidents is when a driver makes a left turn in the path of a motorcycle coming through the intersection even though the motorcycle has the legal right of way.
Here are other sobering statistics about the risks involved when riding a motorcycle in Texas:
- Of all motorcyclists in Texas who are involved in any type of traffic accident, about 60% suffer serious or catastrophic injury.
- Though helmets are proven to reduce the likelihood of serious injury or death, about one-half of all bikers who die in Texas motorcycle accidents were wearing helmets at the time of the wreck. Under Texas law, motorcyclists are required to wear approved helmets when operating a bike on the road. The law has exceptions for bikers who complete an approved motorcycle training course and anyone with medical insurance that covers motorcycle accident injuries.
- Motorcycle fatalities account for approximately one of every six motor-vehicle-accident deaths every year.
- The vast majority of motorcycle accidents happen in urban areas—nearly 70%.
- Alcohol or excessive speed were factors in about half of all the motorcycle crashes in Texas over the past few years.
As a consequence, TxDOT has issued the following safety recommendations for anyone taking a motorcycle on to the roadway in Texas:
- Keep an eye out for other motorists at every intersection. Many drivers have a difficult time judging the speed of an oncoming motorcycle and the distance between the bike and the intersection.
- Take extra precautions to maximize your visibility. Wear bright clothing, put reflectors or reflective tape/gear on your bike, and use hand signals in addition to the turn signals on the bike.
Contact the Experienced Texas-Motorcycle-Accident Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we know that most motorcycle accidents can lead to serious and catastrophic injury. We bring more than four decades of experience to injured people across Texas. For an appointment with an experienced personal injury attorney, contact us by email or call our offices at 844-402-2992. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.