A motorcyclist was killed yesterday in Houston traffic. The 49-year-old rider, whose name was not immediately released, was involved in a collision with a pickup truck. The wreck occurred on the Southwest Freeway near West Belfort. After impact, the rider was ejected and thrown over a retaining wall, landing on the service road below. He died at the scene.
Just two months ago, on March 23, 2013, another motorcycle rider was killed on State Highway 249. He was heading to work in the early morning hours when an intoxicated driver turned in front of him. The driver now faces charges of intoxicated manslaughter.
These two cases, and many others that have not received news coverage, highlight the vulnerability of motorcycle riders to serious injury or death in a collision. As various freeway signs have recently alerted the public, motorists need to be observant and cautious around motorcycles. While riders may sometimes appear protected with heavy boots and riding gear, in reality they are far more likely to receive life-threatening injuries during a collision than those in cars or trucks. In fact, in yesterday’s collision on the Southwest Freeway, the driver of the pickup was unharmed. Likewise, in the March 23rd crash on Highway 249, the automobile driver did not get hurt.
Motorists must maintain awareness of motorcycles. Yet, since automobiles are notoriously underinsured, motorcyclists would be well advised to seek to add uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits to their own coverage. When dealing with life-changing injuries, inadequate insurance coverage makes a bad situation even worse.
Local drivers should be safer around motorcycles. But, aware that some drivers will not take due care, and will be underinsured, riders need to verify that they have adequate insurance protection.