Riding a motorcycle in Texas is a thrilling experience. With flat stretches of highways, motorcyclists can ride at high speeds across the state while enjoying the Texas scenery. Riding a motorcycle comes with serious dangers that all riders should be aware of. Even the most experienced motorcyclist can get into a devastating accident and be seriously injured or killed in an instant. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one motorcyclist is killed every day in Texas. In 2019 alone, there were 1,812 motorcycle riders seriously injured in crashes with 412 riders killed. More than half of the fatal motorcycle accidents involved a collision with another vehicle. Because motorcycles do not provide the protection for drivers and riders that a passenger vehicle does, motorcycle riders are much more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a crash. Being aware of the 5 main causes of motorcycle crashes can help motorcycle enthusiasts avoid dangerous collisions.
Speeding in Houston is incredibly common, and many drivers and motorcyclists can be seen speeding on our highways. Speeding significantly reduces the amount of time a driver or rider has to react to changes in the road ahead. Speeding can have deadly consequences, as one-third of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve speeding. Even if a motorcyclist is not speeding, if the passenger vehicles nearby are speeding, they may cause a collision by not being able to react in time. Always be aware of your surroundings while riding your motorcycle. If you see a speeding car, give them plenty of space to pass.
All drivers can be guilty of driving while distracted. Anything that can take a driver’s eyes off the road can quickly cause a catastrophic accident. Whether trying to read a cell phone message, change the air control settings, or eat a hamburger, distracted drivers are more likely to cause crashes. Distractions can often cause a motorcycle rider to collide with a fixed object that could normally be easily avoided if they were paying attention to the road, including signs, light poles, guardrails, road debris, and more. Passenger vehicle drivers who are distracted are much less likely to see a motorcycle if they are looking down at their phone or reaching for an object behind their seat. They can easily hit a motorcycle while making a turn or changing lanes if they are not paying strict attention to the road.
Riding or Driving While Intoxicated
Driving while intoxicated is illegal in Texas and comes with severe penalties. Both motorcyclists and drivers are more likely to cause fatal crashes when operating their vehicles while under the influence. This practice is extremely dangerous and puts all lives on the road at risk – drivers, riders, and pedestrians. Alcohol impairs an individual’s judgement, making them more likely to perform risky maneuvers. Impaired drivers may also potentially pass out while operating their vehicles, creating an incredibly dangerous environment for themselves and other vehicles around them.
A common practice among motorcycle riders, lane splitting is when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of traffic while the traffic is stopped or moving at slow speeds. The practice is illegal in Texas and can incredibly dangerous. When riders lane split, they put themselves much closer to passenger vehicles. Drivers may not see or anticipate a motorcycle lane splitting and can turn or change lanes without seeing the bike. Many serious motorcycle accidents occur due to lane splitting.
Difficulty Seeing a Motorcycle
Because motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles, they are more easily hidden in blind spots, by signs or bus stops, or by other vehicles. If a motorcyclist chooses to weave in and out of traffic or lane split, it can be hard for a driver to see where they are or if they are entering their lane. While the majority of motorcyclists obey traffic laws, ride at the speed limit, and do not lane split, others ride their erratically and unpredictably. When approaching intersections, all drivers and motorcyclists should check their surroundings and signal their intent before making a turn. Many cars hit motorcycles when a car is turning left and a motorcycle is continuing straight because the driver of the car does not see the motorcycle in their blind spot.
Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Houston motorcyclists should not fear driving on our roads every day. Motorcycle accidents can be incredibly serious and can leave you or a family member injured or killed. If you or a loved one is a victim of a car crash, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the Houston motorcycle accident lawyers at Dax F. Garza, P.C. to learn more about how we can help you recover in a free consultation.