According to a Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report released last month, more than 5,000 people died as a result of motorcycle accidents in 2015 — a 10% increase from 2014. In Texas, 455 people died from motorcycle accidents last year, a 1% increase from the previous year. In fact, Texas roads were the third deadliest for motorcyclists in 2015, with only Florida and California experiencing more motorcycle fatalities.
While National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) research shows that safety helmets decrease the risk of dying in a crash by 37%, Texas motorcyclists over the age of 21 are not required by law to wear a helmet. The NHTSA estimates that more than 715 lives would have been saved in 2015 if riders were wearing helmets.
The GHSA offers these safety tips for motorcyclists:
- Always wear a helmet, even if it is not required by state law.
- Wear brightly colored clothing to make yourself more visible to drivers.
- Don’t speed or lane split.
- Don’t ride impaired.
- Ride motorcycles that have antilock brakes, which make them more stable.
- Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
- Avoid riding in a driver’s blind spot.
- Always use turn signals for turning and lane changes.
In addition, drivers can help avoid motorcycle accidents by doing the following:
- Allow for greater following distance if you are behind a motorcycle in traffic.
- Show extra caution in intersections, since research shows most motorcycle accidents occur when a vehicle turns left in front of a motorcycle.
- Never share a lane with a motorcyclist.
- Take extra time to look for motorcycles when turning at intersections or changing lanes.
The attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, experience and resources to fully investigate any serious accident or death. If you have a question about an accident involving a serious injury or fatality, please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.