The number of motorcycle fatalities in Texas has increased, and this represents an alarming development. Despite the reduction in traffic and fewer motorcycle crashes in 2020, the number of motorcycle-related fatalities has grown by 17% compared with the previous year.
This has safety advocates and government officials scratching their heads in bewilderment. They also remain concerned about the lives of motorcyclists who have a consistent presence on Texas roads and highways. Motorcyclists represent 12% of all the state’s traffic-related fatalities.
One motorcyclist dies daily in the state
Look at this concerning statistic. At least one motorcyclist dies every day in a crash or collision on Texas roads. In 2020, a total of 482 motorcyclists died. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, we are now in the middle of the peak time for motorcyclist deaths. More than 61% of motorcyclist fatalities occur in the state from May through October.
Other motorists – drivers of cars, SUVs, pickups and large trucks — often are to blame for collisions involving motorcycles. Many of these drivers are unaware of a motorcycle’s presence or are just plain negligent while traveling on Texas roads.
Common driver mistakes
Here are some of the most common driver mistakes that lead to motorcycle accidents:
- Making a left turn in front of a motorcycle: On the surface, this should not be a mistake. However, drivers may not see the motorcyclist in time while making the turn or just misjudge the motorcycle’s speed and the distance between their vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that 34% of motorcyclist deaths occur at intersections.
- Making a lane change and veering into a motorcycle’s path: Once again, a driver may not be aware of the presence of a motorcyclist due to driving blind spots. Distracted and inattentive driving on their part also cannot be ruled out.
- Failing to stop on time and crashing into the back of a motorcycle: These collisions often occur at intersections with traffic lights. Such a collision involving two cars might be minor. However, when a motorcycle is one of the vehicles, it could lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Motorcycles know the dangers they face when sharing the road with other motorists. Even the slightest mistake may prove fatal. Public awareness campaigns about motorcycles must continue. Safe driving habits also must continue. These factors just may reduce motorcyclist fatalities on Texas roads.