Motorcycle accidents happen far more often than people might realize. That’s why road safety experts in Texas and across the country have designated May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
The goal of this educational campaign is to make motorcyclists and drivers aware of the dangers motorcyclists face and offer tips on how to prevent motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle accidents increase dramatically in Texas
Each year, an estimated 5,000 people nationwide are killed in motorcycle accidents, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That’s nearly 14 motorcycle accident fatalities every single day.
As for Texas, the number of motorcycle accident deaths continues to climb higher nearly every day. In 2020, there were 483 motorcycle accident fatalities, an increase of 15.8 percent or 66 deaths in just one year. In 2019, there were 417 deaths due to Texas motorcycle accidents, according to NHTSA statistics.
Why do motorcycle accidents happen?
In many cases, motorcycle accidents happen due to the reckless or negligent actions of other drivers. Common causes include:
- Aggressive driving (e.g., unsafe lane changes or tailgating).
- Failure to yield when turning, especially at intersections.
- Distracted driving, especially texting and driving.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Safety tips for riders
There are certain steps motorcyclists can take to reduce the risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident, such as:
- Inspect your motorcycle before you ride to make sure everything’s working properly, including your brake lights and your tire pressure.
- Wear bright clothing.
- Wear a helmet and other safety gear.
- Obey the rules of the road at all times, including posted speed limits and traffic signals.
What can drivers do to prevent a motorcycle crash?
You can help avoid causing a motorcycle accident by:
- Looking out for motorcyclists while you’re driving, especially before changing lanes, turning left at an intersection, merging into traffic, and backing out of a parking space or driveway. Due to their smaller size and low profile, motorcycles are much harder to see when compared to the average passenger vehicle. You also should check for motorcyclists before opening your car door to avoid causing a dooring accident.
- Keeping a safe distance. Don’t tailgate or follow motorcyclists too closely. Bikers often need to make quick adjustments based on changing road conditions, including potholes. They can also downshift to slow down or come to a stop, which means the bike's tail lights won't be activated.
- Sharing the road with motorcyclists. Motorcycles have the same rights to the road as other motor vehicles. There’s enough room for everyone on the road, and you have a duty to keep others safe by driving responsibly.
While most drivers already do these things, some don't and end up causing serious motorcycle accidents. When they do, injured motorcyclists should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about their legal rights.
Why should I hire a motorcycle accident attorney?
You might think you don’t need a lawyer if another driver clearly caused your motorcycle accident. But even if a police officer or Texas Highway Patrol state trooper is investigating your accident, it's not their responsibility to help you recover compensation for your losses. They're trying to determine if the at-fault driver broke any laws.
Our job is to make sure you get the compensation you're entitled to under the law.
At Hoover Rogers Law, LLP, we know how the legal system works in Texas, and we will fight to get the outcome your case deserves.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact our law firm to schedule a free injury case consultation with a Texas motorcycle accident lawyer. We have two offices conveniently located in Wichita Falls, Texas, and Lawton, Oklahoma. We proudly serve clients in both states.