The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging drivers to Share the Road with motorcyclists this month. May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Motorcycle riders remain one of the most vulnerable roadway user groups, and motorcycle crash fatalities are on the rise nationwide. The NHTSA is quick to remind roadway users that motorcyclists are entitled to all the same rights and privileges of automobile drivers. Sharing the Road means that motorcycle riders and motorists need to be paying attention to the road and riding and driving attentively.
The NHTSA isn’t the only public safety agency raising awareness about motorcycle safety this month. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is launching their “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign in a statewide effort to increase motorcyclist safety in Texas. They’re calling on drivers to remain vigilant behind the wheel and be on the lookout for motorcycles, especially when changing lanes and at intersections.
Motorcycle Crashes by The Numbers
- In 2014, 4,594 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in the U.S.
- There was an eight-percent increase in motorcyclist fatalities from 2014 to 2015.
- In 2015, 4,976 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in the U.S.
- An estimated 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2015.
- In 2015, per registered vehicle, the fatality rate for motorcyclists was six times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants.
- In 2015, 422 motorcyclists were killed in Texas.
Vulnerable Roadway User Group
According to the NHTSA, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 29 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in crashes in 2015. If a motorcycle is involved in a crash with a larger passenger occupant vehicle, there is a much greater risk for injury and potentially death for the motorcycle rider. Without the advantage of seatbelts, steel safety cages and airbags, the motorcyclist is truly at the mercy of other drivers on the road.
Even crashes at seemingly low speeds can be catastrophic or even fatal for motorcycle riders. If a rider is ejected from his or her bike, there is a great chance for moderate to severe injuries. Combine that with the fact that motorcycles are smaller vehicles than other passenger occupant automobiles, and you have another problem. With the epidemic of distracted drivers failing to pay attention to the roadway, large cars and light trucks, vans and SUVs are routinely merging into or pulling out in front of bikes.
TxDOT’s “Share the Road” Campaign
The TxDOT’s “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign is raising awareness for motorcycle safety in Texas. They’re conducting a variety of educational outreach events across the state. Their campaign will stop in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Waco, El Paso and Dallas. Since the summer months are usually associated with a spike in motorcycle crashes, they’re hoping to get the word out about how to safely share the road with motorcycles.
Motorcycles aren’t cars. They can’t stop on a dime. Riders are not secured in with seat belts. They’ve only got two wheels to maneuver with. Drivers are reminded to never crowd motorcycle riders either. A motorcyclist needs additional room to safely maneuver in the event of an emergency or roadway debris. Motorcycles should always be given a full lane’s width to occupy. Never tailgate a motorcycle or push into their space. They need that room to safely navigate roadway conditions.
TxDOT’s “Look Twice” Tips for Motorists
- Look twice for motorcycles, especially at intersections.
- Obey all posted speed limits.
- Use turn signals and check blind spots before making lane changes.
- Don’t follow motorcycles too closely.
- Always assume motorcycles are closer than they appear.
- Give motorcycles a full lane.
Conroe Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating and catastrophic for riders. Even with helmets and other protective gear, motorcyclists can become severely or even fatally injured in crashes involving larger passenger occupant vehicles. Injuries like fractures, road rash, lacerations, paralysis and internal organ damage are all commonly associated with motorcycle accidents. The initial hospital bill might be the tip of the iceberg. You might need ongoing physical or occupational therapy, multiple medical or surgical procedures and additional care to get back on your feet.
After a motorcycle accident, it’s a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer who has proven motorcycle case experience. Your motorcycle accident attorney can stay on top of any investigative details and be your advocate as you focus on getting better. Whether you were injured in a left-hand turn accident or you were struck by a distracted driver, a lawyer can protect your rights and help you to get the compensation you deserve to cover medical bills, lost wages, property damage and other expenses associated with your accident.
If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident in Conroe or in any of the surrounding communities, contact the Scott Law Firm at (936) 270-8100 for a free case consultation today.