Information from TxDOT:
As part of National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May, TxDOT is launching the “Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign and reminding drivers to remain alert and watch carefully for motorcycles.
In Texas last year, 417 motorcyclists were killed and another 1,920 were injured in a total of 7,656 crashes. On average, a motorcyclist dies every day in a crash on Texas roads.
Drivers need to be extra vigilant during the spring, when the pleasant Texas temperatures see more motorcyclists taking to the roads. Even minor collisions can be catastrophic for motorcycles because they lack safety features common to other vehicles.
One of the most common crashes between motorcyclists and drivers occurs when drivers make left turns at intersections, due to motorists’ difficulty judging the distance and speed of motorcycles. TxDOT cautions drivers to be extra vigilant when approaching, turning, or driving through an intersection, as 30% of Texas motorcycle deaths in 2018 were intersection-related.
A motorcyclist’s “braking” is not always obvious to motorists. Motorcycles decelerate faster than vehicles and motorcyclists can often downshift instead of applying the brake, especially when driving around a curve. This means at times brake lights will not be engaged to signal the motorcycle is slowing down. It is important for motorists to allow for extra distance when they are behind motorcycles.
With all of this in mind, TxDOT is asking drivers to safely share the road with motorcyclists by following a few tips:
- Look twice for motorcycles, especially at intersections
- Always assume motorcycles are closer than they appear to be and avoid turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle
- Use turn signals and check blind spots before changing lanes
- When passing a motorcyclist, move to the other lane and allow a full lane for the motorcycle
- Always maintain a safe following distance
- Obey posted speed limits
“Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a larger grassroots effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while on the road. Since November 8, 2000, at least one person has died on Texas roadways every single day, and that’s why #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to helping end the streak of daily deaths on our roadways.