On average, more than one motorcyclist dies every day on Texas roads according to data collected by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Over 400 motorcyclists died on Texas roads and more than 1,800 were seriously injured in 2019, the most recent year we have with complete data. Houston is also one of the most dangerous cities in the entire nation to drive in, whether on a motorcycle or in a car.
Houston is particularly dangerous because of the large roads designed to allow people to travel at maximum speeds and the density of motorists that are traveling at those high speeds. Much of the danger faced by motorcyclists is from drivers turning or merging left in front of motorcyclists because they either misjudge the distance they have or did not see the motorcyclist at all. TxDOT data shows that 30 percent of Texas motorcycle fatalities occur in intersections or are intersection-related, partly because of driver inattention. Despite the TxDOT initiative to “Look Twice for Motorcycles” there are plenty of Houston drivers who fail to look even once. The urge to get there quickly coupled with the difficulty of making safe course corrections at higher speeds has made Houston among the nation’s deadliest cities for fatalities caused by speeding. Houston trails only Dallas nationally in deaths caused by speeding, according to Houston Chronicle data.
Despite these shocking stats there is at least one group of people that can improve motorcycle safety on the roads, the rider’s themselves. Motorcyclists have a few options to increase the likelihood that they will make it home in once piece. First is obviously increased visibility. Bright color and high visibility reflective clothing, gear, and accents help riders stand out to other drivers. It is also helpful to know and avoid blind spots because so many drivers are not as attentive as they should be. It falls to the rider to understand where cars’ blind spots are and try to spend as little time as possible in them. Slightly weaving while approaching an intersection or stopping will hopefully alert drivers to your presence because of the unusual movement. Giving yourself space and an escape route is another important step for rider safety. This is critical when traveling at highway speeds surrounded by cars. A rider should try and give themselves enough space to react to other drivers’ decisions and have an idea of where to go in case those decisions threaten the rider’s safety.
Even the safest and smartest riders cannot avoid the dangerous decisions made by other people on the road. If you or a fellow rider has been injured by someone else’s unsafe driving, reach out to the attorneys who know how to best handle the issues that face injured motorcyclists. The attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner have decades of experience with these cases and they can be reached at 713-396-3964 or toll-free at 1-800-594-4884.