Jason Stephens | September 20, 2022 | Motorcycle Accidents
Although motorcycles only make up a small percentage of vehicles on Texas roads, knowing how to drive your car safely around them can help prevent serious accidents.
Because motorcycles are much smaller than most passenger vehicles, they can often be difficult to see, especially at night or in poor weather conditions.
Additionally, motorcycle riders have fewer safety elements at their disposal than cars do. When motorcyclists become involved in a traffic collision, even a minor accident can result in fatal injuries if the motorcyclist is thrown off their bike or hit by an oncoming vehicle.
If you drive a car in Texas, you should know how you can contribute to safer road conditions for motorcyclists. By engaging in alert driving and making small modifications when you’re near a motorcycle, you can help avoid catastrophe.
Understanding the Facts Surrounding Motorcycle Accidents
Although motorcycles make up only about 3% of registered vehicles in the United States, they account for upwards of 14% of traffic fatalities nationwide. In many of these catastrophic accidents, cars are directly or indirectly involved.
In 2020, 55% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved another vehicle. Overall, the motorcycle crashes in 2020 accounted for:
- 5,579 motorcyclists killed
- 82,528 motorcyclists injured
- 483 motorcyclists killed in Texas alone due to collisions with other vehicles
For drivers on Texas roads, engaging in safe driving behaviors can help reduce the likelihood of a motorcycle crash. Though precautions should always be taken when you get behind the wheel, there are additional safety measures to consider whenever a motorcycle is near.
Double-Check Blind Spots
Blind spots refer to the obstructed areas that are difficult to see from a car’s mirrors or windows.
When a car changes lanes, it can be challenging to notice other vehicles when they become lost in a blind spot. Because motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles on the road, accidents can often result from blind spots.
As a safe driving practice, it’s important to double-check any potential blind spots when changing lanes. This can even require physically turning around to check for oncoming vehicles.
Avoid Distracted Driving
A leading cause of traffic accidents and collisions is distracted driving. Taking your eyes off the road, even for just a few seconds, can result in tragic consequences.
In 2019, about 424,000 motorists were injured in the United States due to distracted driving, making it one of the leading causes of traffic collisions.
Distracted driving can include:
- Talking on the phone
- Sending a text message
- Eating and drinking
- Talking with a passenger
- Adjusting the radio or GPS device
- Personal grooming
Though Texas laws are often strict regarding cell phone use, many drivers still engage in distracting behavior that can quickly turn tragic, especially when a motorcycle is involved.
Be Extra Careful in Poor Weather
Drivers should always exercise additional caution in the event of hazardous weather. In Texas, rain, fog and snow can become particularly dangerous, especially for motorcyclists exposed to the elements.
You can help motorcyclists remain safe by engaging in alert driving behaviors whenever you encounter inclement weather conditions.
Keep a Safe Distance
Smaller vehicles can always benefit from additional space on the road. Many times, tailgating or driving too closely can result in rear-end collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions make up roughly 23% of all crashes.
When you encounter a motorcycle, you must give them extra distance between your vehicle. This can help prevent accidents if they break suddenly or need to make a defensive maneuver.
A safe distance is especially critical when cars travel at high speeds or during high traffic density.
Safer Roads for Everyone – Including Fort Worth Motorcyclists
Driving safely for motorcyclists in Texas involves taking simple steps to ensure you are sharing the road in ways that create less dangerous conditions for both you and other drivers. Engaging in alert driving practices and using extra caution around other vehicles can prevent tragedy and make the road a safer place for all vehicles.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth motorcycle accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107