In Texas and throughout the U.S., motorcycle accidents are a leading cause of severe injuries and fatalities.
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Texas Motorcycle Accident Data
Data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demonstrates the alarming rate at which motorcycle accidents occur and the devastating destruction they cause.
In 2021, in Texas:
521 people were killed in motorcycle accidents, 501 of which were the operators and 20 were passengers.
Of those killed in 2021, 45% were not wearing helmets.
There were 2319 suspected severe injuries caused in motorcycle accidents, 3,013 minor injuries, 1,520 possible injuries.
Of those severely injured, 990 were not wearing helmets.
Texas is one of the top three states with the highest fatality rate. On average, one motorcyclist dies on Texas roads every day. Between 2010 to 2017, there were more than 68,000 accidents involving motorcycles.
Most motorcycle accidents are caused by negligence or the reckless or careless actions of a rider or another driver. Since motorcyclists are smaller in size, other motorists often fail to see them or misjudge their distance and speed. In 2021, the primary contributing factors to traffic accidents in Texas were as follows:
Failure to Control Speed – 134,125 Accidents
This is when a person drives or rides over the speed limit and loses control of their vehicle, causing a collision. In such a situation, the party who was speeding will be held responsible for their failure to demonstrate reasonable care.
Driver Inattention – 82,705 Accidents
Accidents caused by inattentive drivers or motorcyclists are completely preventable. Inattentive or distracted driving includes any behavior that takes your eyes and attention off the task of being alert while driving or riding. Examples of inattentive driving include talking or texting on the phone, changing the music, daydreaming, etc.
Failure to Drive in a Single Lane – 45,743 Accidents
Drivers and motorcyclists must remain in their designated lane and not cross over or touch the lines unless changing lanes. Accidents often occur when a motorist swerves or unknowingly drifts into another lane. Lane splitting, which is riding between two traffic lanes, is illegal in Texas.
Changing Lane When Unsafe – 42,638
Failing to signal before changing lanes, changing lanes without checking if it is safe to do so, crossing multiple lanes at once, changing into a highway’s merge lane, changing lanes in an intersection, changing lanes simultaneously with another vehicle, etc.
Failure to Yield Turning Left – 33,813
When a motorcyclist is involved in a left turn accident, it is usually a result of another driver making a left turn in front of the rider traveling straight ahead through an intersection.
Failure to Yield Stop Sign – 29,167
Although motorists are legally obligated to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and to wait for other vehicles that came first to go, many fail to yield the right-of-way.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
Motorcycles do not have the same level of protection that passenger cars give their occupants. As a result, a motorcycle accident is more likely to cause severe injuries or fatalities. Here are a few safety tips that can help prevent a collision.
Understand traffic laws and follow them carefully.
Avoid speeding and changing lanes abruptly.
Obey traffic lights and stop signs.
Keep up with the flow of traffic.
Keep sufficient distance from other traffic.
Signal before making a turn or changing lanes.
Ride defensively and avoid being aggressive in road maneuvers.
If riding with a passenger, make sure they are seated directly behind you, as forward as feasible.
Wear a helmet.
Other motorists also have a duty to drive safely. This involves passing motorcycles with care, avoiding abrupt lane changes, looking in blind spots, and being extra cautious at intersections and when making turns.