In June 2020, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) launched a new safety campaign promoting motorcycle awareness. The annual Share the Road campaign aims to help drivers see motorcyclists more often and take extra precautions to keep them safe.
In a 2019 study, TxDOT found that 412 bikers lost their lives in a fatal accident on Texas roadways. Most of these fatalities occurred in or around Houston. What can drivers do to help motorcyclists stay alive?
Use these tips to help bikers
The best way to keep motorcyclists alive on the road is by sticking to the basics. Drivers often overlook just how important a solid foundation of routine and practice can help. TxDOT recommends that drivers keep the following safety tips in mind when taking to the roads this year:
- Take care turning left: Motorcycle accidents often occur when a car turns left in front of an approaching biker. When turning left around motorcycles, signal clearly and wait until the biker understands.
- Pay attention at intersections: Accidents involving motorcycles occur most often in intersections. The volume of cars and increased potential for mixed signals creates hazardous situations for bikers. Be patient when at an intersection with a biker.
- No distractions: Distracted driving has become an epidemic among many motorists. Careful drivers will put their cellphones away when driving, turn the music low and keep their attention firmly on the road.
- Check blind spots twice: Motorcycles are much smaller than cars. If these large vehicles can avoid detection in a side-mirror, motorcycles may be basically invisible. Thoroughly check blind spots before turning or changing lanes.
- Bikers need more space: When driving close to a motorcycle, make sure to give the biker more space on the road than other cars. More road allows the motorcyclist more time and room to execute necessary maneuvers while also giving oneself more time to react safely.
- Follow carefully and slow down: Responsible drivers will reduce their speed and put three to four car lengths between themselves and a motorcycle when driving behind them.
Injured in a motorcycle accident? Contact a lawyer
Those injured while operating a motorcycle may wish to seek legal action to cover medical bills and other damages. A local attorney familiar with Houston motor vehicle law and the TxDOT’s latest safety programming can answer questions, assess one’s case and file suit.