Texas “Share the Road” Campaign Promotes Motorcycle Safety
With motorcycling season in full swing, several Texas agencies and cities are taking steps to promote basic motorcycle safety. Motorcycle registrations in the state more than doubled in the last decade to 420,000, making motorcycle safety and accident prevention more important than ever.
Public Safety Awareness
The Texas Department of Transportation recently launched the “Share the Road” campaign in order to help reduce motorcycle accidents and injuries and to spread awareness of safe driving practices for motorcycle and other drivers. Municipal governments in Pinehurst and the City of Orange have also taken steps to increase public safety awareness regarding motorcycles.
The safety initiative was prompted in part by data showing a recent increase in motorcycle crash fatalities. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle fatalities have increased despite a decrease in overall vehicle crash fatalities. In 2010, nearly 430 motorcyclists died in Texas, accounting for 14 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in the state. These numbers increased to 470 and 16 percent in 2011, with over 5,700 serious injuries.
Motorcyclists are 25 times more likely to die in a collision and five times more likely to be injured than passengers of vehicles. Further, riders age 13 to 26 accounted for nearly 100 deaths.
Other Helpful Measures
The DOT is also advising drivers of cars and trucks to give motorcycles plenty of space, avoid following too closely, and pay attention at intersections, where motorcycles often appear without warning from behind other vehicles and blind spots.
Additionally, Texas law requires motorcyclists in the state to complete a Basic Rider Course that offers training in safe motorcycle practices. For more advanced riders, the Experienced RiderCourse helps perfect safe driving habits. Drivers licensed in other states may ride in Texas if they have a motorcycle endorsement.
Hopefully, through the efforts of Basic Rider Course requirements and the Share the Road Campaign, Texas can do its part to reduce the number of Texas motorcycle accidents and injuries that happen within the state.