How Texas Drivers Can Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

Posted By The Carlson Law Firm || 15-Feb-2011

It is no wonder, with its miles of wide-open highways and warm climate, that Texas has many motorcycle enthusiasts. Unfortunately, those open highways are not as hospitable to motorcyclists as they seem. Bikers must share the road with automobiles and large tractor-trailer trucks, both of which have the upper hand in motor vehicle accidents.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, in nearly two-thirds of accidents involving motorcycles, the car driver-not the motorcyclist-is at fault. More than one half of those accidents are caused by a driver who simply failed to see the motorcyclist coming. Hence the familiar bumper sticker: “Start seeing motorcycles”.

Aside from their small size, motorcycles are difficult for drivers to spot for other reasons. Motorists usually are looking out for, and expecting to see, other cars and not motorcycles. Additionally, the driving pattern of motorcycles differs from cars, and may be harder for drivers to anticipate. A motorcycle’s smaller profile also makes estimating distance and oncoming speed more difficult.

In addition to being generally on the lookout for motorcyclists, there are several other steps Texas drivers should take to avoid motorcycle accidents.

  • Carefully check mirrors and blind spots. The comparatively small size of motorcycles makes them harder to spot and easier to fall into blind zones.
  • Be particularly cautious when making left turns. The most frequent type of motorcycle accident occurs when the driver of a car turns left in front of a motorcyclist.
  • Give motorcycles as much room on the road as you would a car. Motorcycles still require a whole lane so they can avoid debris, potholes and other obstacles in the road.
  • Always use your turn signal, even if you don’t see other cars around. This will enable potentially unnoticed motorcyclists to anticipate your movements and react appropriately.

By following these simple steps, drivers can help ensure both their safety and the safety of the motorcyclists with whom they share the road.

Source: Drive Aware! We’re Out There

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