The Texas Department of Public Safety is reminding drivers to take extra precautions around motorcyclists on Texas streets and highways, as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month begins May 1.
“Motorcyclists face unique safety challenges on Texas roads because they are smaller, more difficult to see and less protected than cars and trucks,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Motorcyclists can protect themselves on the road by obeying traffic laws and wearing their helmets. Motorists can help by looking twice for motorcycles and giving them additional space.”
DPS recommends all drivers “Share the Road” and “Look Twice” for motorcycles, which are public awareness campaigns that highlight motorcycle safety. Motorists should take caution, especially at intersections and when changing lanes - the two places where serious motorcycle collisions occur.
Half of all fatal motorcycle crashes in Texas occur because the car or truck driver never saw the motorcyclist. The number of motorcyclists killed annually since 2000 has more than doubled, from 196 in 2000 to 472 in 2011. The 472 motorcycle drivers and passengers who lost their lives in Texas accounted for 16 percent of traffic deaths in the state. Eighty-seven percent of motorcycle crashes result in death or injury of the motorcyclist.
The number of motorcycles on Texas roadways has more than doubled in the last decade. Motorcyclist must be properly licensed to operate a motorcycle in the State of Texas. The DPS office Motorcycle Safety Unit coordinates training courses at more than 200 locations around the state for both basic and experienced riders.
For more information on motorcycle training, please call 1-800-292-5787 or visit www.dps.texas.gov/msb.