Motorcycles are more than just a means of transportation, for many Texans they are a hobby and pastime. While they are a fun way to get around, especially on wildflower-lined country backroads during pleasant weather, motorcycles are much more dangerous than travelling by automobile.
“Due to their smaller size and lack of outer protection, motorcycles are simply a greater risk,” Brad says. “It’s really easy to misjudge a motorcycle’s speed and distance, so it’s critical to be very observant and give motorcyclists plenty of room. Motorcycles can stop more quickly than other vehicles, and some road hazards could force the motorcyclist to veer out of their lane or off the road.”
Texas Helmet Law
In Texas helmets are required for any rider under the age of 21. Riders over the age of 21 may forego wearing a helmet if they obtain at least $10,000 in medical insurance or complete a DMV-approved motorcycle operating training course. Texas police are currently NOT permitted to stop or detain any rider solely to determine whether the rider has completed a training course or possesses medical insurance coverage, but that could change in the future. Brad says, “Even if wearing a helmet is not required of everyone, it’s still a very good idea. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s almost a certainty that you will suffer significant injuries. Oftentimes those injuries are to the head.”
Top 10 Tips for Sharing the Road
Check Those Blind Spots
This is the No. 1 reason for accidents involving motorcycles and automobiles. Because motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, they can be more difficult to spot while changing lanes or merging onto the highway.
Understand That Motorcycles Have a Faster Reaction Time
By maintaining an adequate following distance, you can avoid the fatal mistake of rear-ending a motorcycle.
Use Caution When Passing
Drivers pass motorcycles the same way they would other drivers. It’s important to remember that upon passing a motorcycle, it could become more unstable and cause an accident.
Check the Weather
Bad weather has more drastic effects on motorcycle riders than it does on automobile drivers. Visibility can be greatly diminished during heavy rainfall, and slick roads make driving more dangerous for everyone.
Pay Extra Attention at Night
Help riders stay safe after dark by increasing your following distance. Also ensure that your high beams are turned off when you notice an approaching motorcycle and refrain from passing unless absolutely necessarily.
Stay in Your Lane
Motorcycles are just as entitled to their own lane of traffic as automobiles. In no situation should drivers occupy the same lane in close proximity to a motorcycle.
Make Your Intentions Clear
Initiate your turn signal sooner than you normally would when you know there is a motorcycle driving behind you. Not only is this courteous, it helps to reduce pile-ups involving motorcycles.
Keep Alert at Intersections
Many vehicle accidents that involve both cars and motorcycles occur at intersections. It’s smart to follow the safety protocol for intersections every single time that you approach one. That means coming to a complete stop, view and obey posted traffic signs and signals, look both ways and then proceed slowly.
Watch for Turning Motorcycles
Many motorcycles on the road today do not have the self-cancelling turn signals that we are now accustomed to. Drive defensively and anticipate sudden turns from those on motorcycles.
Take a Second Look at Left Turns
Before you cross a lane or lanes of traffic to turn left, take a second look for approaching motorcycles. Vehicle accidents involving the collision of a left-turning car and an approaching motorcycle can be very severe because the motorcycle T-bones the car while it is halfway through the left turn.
Have You Been Injured In A Texas Area Motorcycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Texas motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Bedford office directly at 817.440.3888 to schedule your free consultation.
At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.