SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Department of Transportation is reminding drivers about the importance of sharing the road as we enter the most dangerous time of year for motorcyclists.
TxDOT estimates 61% of fatal crashes involving motorcycles happened from May to October last year. The 487 motorcyclists killed in crashes in 2020 represented a 17% increase from 2019. There more than 1,700 serious injuries.
The agency is launching its annual “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign as part of National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
“It’s so important to remember that these motorcyclists don’t have the same protections that drivers in vehicles have, and that’s why we’re urging all motorists to stay watchful and alert when traveling alongside motorcycles so everyone can reach their destination safely,” TXDOT Executive Director James Bass said in a statement.
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that the most common factor in crashes is drivers misjudging a motorcycle’s distance and speed and then making left turns in front of them. One third of fatal collisions involving drivers and motorcycles occurred at intersections. Driver inattention was also a key factor.
TxDOT advises that drivers check blind spots and make sure gaps are really open before changing lanes or making turns. Also, drivers should stay back and maintain a safe following distance. That way, drivers won’t be caught off-guard if a motorcyclist downshifts instead of applying a brake to slow down.
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