HOUSTON (CW39) – This month the Texas Department of Transportation kicked off the “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign.
It is a part of National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The campaign focuses on the safety precautions motorists can take to protect motorcyclists and themselves.
Despite less traffic on the road in 2020 and a 2% reduction in motorcycle crashes, safety officials are alarmed by a 17% increase in Texas motorcycle fatalities compared to 2019. On average, a motorcyclist is killed in a crash on Texas roads every day—last year 482 died. Motorcyclists account for 12% of all traffic fatalities statewide. In 2020, in the 7,481 motorcycle crashes in Texas, 1,856 motorcyclists were seriously injured and 482 were killed.
The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) reports that fatal crashes between motorcyclists and drivers often occur when drivers misjudge the motorcycle’s distance and speed and make left turns in front of an oncoming motorcyclist.
With all of this in mind, TxDOT has these safety tips for drivers to protect motorcyclists and prevent crashes:
• Take extra care when making a left turn. It’s safest to let the motorcycle pass to avoid turning in front of the rider.
• Pay special attention at intersections. Nearly one in three motorcycle fatalities happens at a roadway intersection.
• Give driving your full attention. Even a momentary distraction, such as answering a phone call or changing the radio station, can have deadly consequences.
• Look twice when changing lanes. Check mirrors, check blind spots, and always use turn signals.
• Give motorcyclists room when passing them. Move over to the passing lane and don’t crowd the motorcyclist’s full lane.
• Stay back. If you’re behind a motorcycle, always maintain a safe following distance. When a motorcyclist downshifts instead of applying the brake to slow down, it can catch drivers off guard since there are no brake lights to signal reduced speed.
• Slow down. Obey posted speed limits and drive to conditions.
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