Motorcycle Safety Tips
Unfortunately, most Texas drivers have either seen a serious motorcycle accident unfold or have passed by and seen the tragic aftermath of one. Far too often, these are deadly events since motorcycles offer so little physical protection – and many riders refuse to wear the proper safety gear. However, even properly outfitted law enforcement officials and those who wear protective gear also lose their lives.
Houston has already seen too many serious or fatal motorcycle accidents during recent months. In fact, during July of 2016, a Bellaire motorcycle cop lost his life while chasing two suspects who were apparently trying to escape with stolen goods from a local Target store. The Houston Chronicle states that Officer Anthony Zarate was killed on July 12th – while he was pursuing these suspects. One or more witnesses at the scene believe that the officer may have lost control of his motorcycle during the chase.
Here’s a look at a few other Houston accidents that have left too many people injured or killed. This information is followed by general motorist safety tips for driving near motorcycles.
Other Recent Houston Motorcycle Injuries and Collisions
- June 2016. A vehicle driving in northeast Houston failed to yield the right-of-way to a motorcyclist traveling on Alpine Bender and wound up hitting the 27-year-old young man. He died at the scene while the person driving the car who hit him was taken to a local hospital;
- May 2016. During the first half of the month, a 65-year-old man died after possibly losing control of his motorcycle, then hitting a curb and a guardrail. The accident took place at 3000 North Main around rush hour;
- April 2016. During the early part of this month, a 29-year-old Hispanic man riding a 2010 Honda motorcycle was hit and killed on Cypress Mills Drive. No one initially knew who was at fault in this accident that took place during the early morning hours.
Tips for Driving Safely Near Motorcycles, Motorized Bikes & Other Similar Vehicles
It’s fairly common for people riding quietly in their cars to become a bit nervous when a loud motorcycle pulls up near them in traffic. This may be because many of us may unfairly assume that most motorcyclists pay less attention to speed limits and road signs.
Concerned by all of these unnecessary deaths, the Texas Department of Transportation (TX DOT) has created a new safety campaign entitled “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles.” Here are some basic facts clearly indicating why we must all work hard to decrease these types of accidents in our state.
- In 2015, Texas motorcyclists suffered 455 fatalities and 1,867 injuries. Even though our state has considerable more paved surfaces than most others, we still need to work together greatly to reduce all of these serious injuries and deaths;
- By reading more online about the Texas DOT “Share the Road” campaign, we can each learn why so many motorists continue to collide with motorcyclists.
- Nearly every day, car and truck drivers misjudge how far away motorcyclists are traveling from their vehicles in traffic. We also fail to gauge properly the speed at which motorcycles are traveling;
- Too often, motorists take over the cyclist’s lane. Just like car and truck drivers, motorcyclists should be allowed to travel in their own separate lane – without others veering into it. Many of us wrongfully assume that the smaller vehicle needs less space;
- Motorists often tailgate motorcyclists. This bad habit greatly increases the chances that we will hit one of them. Houston motorcyclists should never have to suffer a serious neck injury because car and truck drivers are negligent;
- We all need to use our turn signals regularly – and we must look closely around our vehicles before changing lanes. Car and truck drivers frequently make the road more dangerous for motorcyclists;
- All drivers must remember how hard it can be to see motorcyclists at intersections. Too many motorcycle accidents take place in these locations.
If all drivers commit to driving more carefully, we can move toward decreasing our state’s unacceptably high number of motorcycle deaths. Please visit the Texas DOT’s website to learn more about the unique safety needs of all Texas vehicles – and consider taking a defensive driving course so you can memorize the most important traffic safety laws.