Motorcycle accidents are a prevalent problem in Texas, resulting in hundreds of injuries and deaths each year. Motorcycles provide the driver with little physical protection during accidents compared to cars and other vehicles, so when there is a collision involving a motorcycle, the motorcyclist is likely to be injured.
While there are numerous reasons for motorcycle accidents, most are caused by negligence and could have been avoided. Because of the increasing popularity of motorcycles and scooters in Texas, coupled with an increase in the number of motorcycle accidents, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) has “amped” its efforts to improve motorcycle safety.
Data from the TXDOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demonstrates the magnitude of the problem of motorcycle accidents in Texas, as well as factors that contribute to the problem.
- In 2012, 10,391 motorcyclists were involved in accidents.
- In 2012, 6,131 motorcyclists were seriously injured in motorcycle collisions.
- 45-50% of motorcyclists injured or killed in accidents were wearing helmets.
- For each of the past 5 years, the number of motorcycle accident fatalities has increased.
- 16% all vehicle fatalities in Texas involve motorcyclists. 1
- In 2013 there were 494 fatal motorcycle accidents while in 2012 there were only 470 and in 2010 there were 435.
- 31% of motorcycle accidents in Texas occur in rural areas, while 69% occur in urban areas.
- In 2013, most motorcycle accidents occurred in Houston, followed by San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Arlington, and Corpus Christi.
- Motorcyclists are 25 times more likely than passengers in cars to be killed in an accident, and they are five times more likely to be injured.
At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, our motorcycle accident lawyer will treat you more than “just another statistic”. Our experienced staff is dedicated to putting our clients’ lives back on track after facing the challenge of an accident.
Motorcycles vs. Cars
Some accidents are the fault of the motorcyclist, while for others another driver or pedestrian is at fault. Negligence was involved in the vast majority of accidents as they involved either speeding or alcohol use. When a car or other motor vehicle is involved in an accident with a motorcyclist, the motorcyclist is likely to be seriously injured.
The sheer difference in weight and size of the vehicles put the motorcyclist at a disadvantage. The average motorcycle weighs 700 pounds while the average weight of a car is 4000 pounds, 8500 pounds for an SUV, 7500 pounds for a truck and 85,000 pounds for an 18-wheeler.
TEXAS MOTORCYCLE SAFETY & MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYERS
If you’re a motorcyclist, you already know the large responsibility that having a motorcycle can be. While dangerous, motorcycling makes for an excellent hobby and can often lead you on the best adventures. There are more than 400,000 motorcycles registered in the Lone Star State. However, with it being hazardous, it would be beneficial if you were driving carefully, wearing proper safety gear, and keeping on top of your motorcycle maintenance. If you’re out on your motorcycle in Texas, here are some of the top tips to keep you and those around you safe.
THE DANGERS OF MOTORCYCLES IN TEXAS
The Texas Department of Transportation reported that in 2017 more than 450 motorcyclists were killed in accidents. Another 1,887 drivers and passengers suffered from incapacitating injuries such as brain damage and spinal cord damage. These fatalities and life-altering injuries included drivers and passengers with and without helmets. The statistics for injury and death may be daunting, but there are proactive ways to protect yourself, your friends, and your family, and there is help available for those who have been injured in a motorcycle accident.
ROAD RISK FOR TEXAS MOTORCYCLE RIDERS
Motorcycle riders are in a unique position on the road in that they are exposed to dangers that are not met by automobile drivers and other motorists. As a result, motorcyclists must be aware of the risks and remedies available if they are involved in a traffic accident.
- The fatality rate or motorcycle accidents has more than doubled since 1999.
- Road Hazards: potholes, oil slicks, puddles, debris, ruts, uneven pavement, and railroad tracks can all be minor irritations for a car, but a major hazard to motorcycles.
- Avoid adverse weather conditions: Rain cuts your visibility and reduces your tires’ grip on the road. If you have to ride in the wind, be proactive in anticipating the potential push from the side by moving to the side of the lane the wind is coming from
HOW TO BOOST YOUR VISIBILITY IN TEXAS
When you’re out on your motorcycle, the last thing you want to be worried about is whether cars and other vehicles around you can see you. Here are six tips to help increase your visibility when you’re out on the road on your motorcycle and conditions are dark.
- Wear brightly colored clothing
- Upgrade your headlamp
- Add reflective tape or decals to your bike
- Stay out of blind spots
- Add auxiliary LED lights to your bike
- Ride in a group
TEXAS MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS AND HELMET USE: HOW TO SAVE A LIFE
Motorcycles can be extremely dangerous if proper safety precautions and careful driving are not employed. One of the biggest and most important precautions to take when riding a motorcycle is to wear protective gear. Helmets can absolutely save lives when it comes to motorcycling. When a person is wearing a motorcycle helmet, they actively protect not only their skull and face but also their brain and spine. Upon impact, brains can suffer traumatic injuries resulting in injuries as mild as concussions to as severe as paralysis or brain death. Helmets help protect against the dangerous results of a head impact during a motorcycle crash.
BENEFITS OF MOTORCYCLE MIRRORS IN TEXAS
Your motorcycle mirrors are one of your best resources to spotting potential hazards out of your immediate field of vision. Good mirror visibility is an important aspect of performance and truly contributes to overall riding enjoyment. The best way to get maximum visibility out of your motorcycle mirrors is to ensure you’re placing and adjusting them. Mirrors are good, of course, and can even make or break the safety of your motorcycle. However, you cannot rely solely on your mirrors to keep you safe and to help you avoid accidents.
DO NOT LANE SHARE IN TEXAS
In Texas, lane sharing is illegal. Lane sharing means that motorcycles ride between cars, passing over the solid yellow line or dashed white line or alongside cars within the same lane. Even if you think lane sharing will save you time or that your dexterity will eliminate any risk, you may be putting yourself or others in danger. You could fall into a blind spot, which can cause an accident and severe injuries to both you and the person in the cars around you.
MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE TASKS YOU SHOULD DO OFTEN
If you’re a motorcyclist, you already know the large responsibility that having a motorcycle can be. Here are five motorcycle maintenance tips that you should consider as a biker.
- Inspect your tires
- Check your oil
- Check or replace your battery if needed
- Inspect the frame of your motorcycle
- Change the air filter
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE IN A TEXAS MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
If you are in a motorcycle accident that results in a personal injury- no matter the severity—and you are not at fault, you may be eligible for compensation. If this may be your case, you should consult with a personal injury attorney with experience in motorcycle accidents so that you can better your chances of a payout in court.
We Can Help You
If a motorcyclist is injured in an accident due to the negligence of another driver, the motorcyclist can recover compensation for losses that result through a personal injury lawsuit. Compensable losses include property loss, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Furthermore, if a loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, family members may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. If you are a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to contact a Texas motorcycle accident attorney at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., who will review the facts of your case and represent you through this difficult period.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Texas lawyer regarding a motorcycle accident injury or death, please contact us first!
- 1Texas A&M Transportation Institute, //tti.tamu.edu/2012/09/01/safety-experts-focus-on-motorcycle-fatalities/