As Texas roadways become increasingly crowded, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is asking drivers to Share the Road and Look Twice during National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The campaign is aimed at car and truck drivers who often report a lack of visibility as the reason for crashes and near-misses involving motorcyclists.
“Safety should be everyone’s primary concern when sharing the road with other drivers,” said Phil Wilson, TxDOT executive director. “Motorcyclists are not only some of our most vulnerable drivers, but they often can be more difficult to see than other vehicles. We ask that car and truck drivers always pay extra attention to their mirrors and blind spots, use signals when changing lanes and give plenty of space to motorcyclists.”
Last year, 460 people died on Texas roadways while riding motorcycles and scooters. In 2011, that number was 488. The 6.1 percent decrease may be attributed to an increase in helmet use and heightened awareness by other motorists through TxDOT lead-campaigns, such as Share the Road.
“The numbers are trending in the right direction, yet we still have more work to do to save more lives in 2013,” reiterated Wilson.
According to a survey conducted by Texas A&M Transportation Institute, more than half of motorcycle crashes last year involved another driver who reportedly never saw the motorcyclist.
Data also show that:
• In 2012, 89 percent of motorcycle crashes resulted in the death or injury of the motorcyclist.
• In 2012, 53 percent of motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes were not wearing helmets.
• In 2012, Texas motorcycle deaths were higher in urban areas than rural ones. In fact, 44 percent of motorcyclists who lost their lives were riding in rural areas, while 56 percent died in cities.
As part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, TxDOT’s Share the Road campaign will appear on statewide billboards, television and radio ads, and community events across the state.