Awareness can help reverse the deadly Texas bike wreck trend.
Despite 20,000 fewer motorcycles on the road compared to passenger vehicles, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in Texas continues to rise.
On average, one motorcyclist dies in a crash on Texas roads every day. In 2022, 562 riders died, and 2,422 were seriously injured in motorcycle wrecks. Many of these accidents can be prevented with increased driver awareness about the risks bikers face when other drivers are negligent and how to share the road with motorcycles safely.
This May, our law firm is participating in National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by sharing information on Texas and Webb County motorcycle crashes as well as tips for motorists to share the road with bikers.
Motorcycle accident statistics
Texas' motorcycle accident problem is well-documented. Here are some statistics from federal and state transportation resources:
- The rate of fatal Texas motorcycle wrecks shot up by 12% between 2017 and 2021 - going from 134 to 150 fatalities per 100,000 registered motorcycles.
- So far, in 2023, Texas has experienced 192 fatal motorcycle crashes.
- About 30% of Texas motorcycle accidents are fatal or cause serious injuries.
- Webb County is among the top 10 Texas counties with the highest overall motorcycle crash rates. There are about 1,800 motorcycles registered here.
- Webb County has about 56 motorcycle accidents per year, including 1 fatal crash - usually in Laredo. In recent years, deadly Laredo motorcycle accidents happened on:
- Lloyd Bentsen Highway US-59
- Bob Bullock Loop TX-20
- I-35 by Jefferson St
- McPherson Ave at Shiloh Dr intersection
How to share the road with bikers
Motorcycles have the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle on the road and deserve the same respect from other drivers. That's why motorists must practice safe driving behaviors when driving near motorcycles. Here are tips on how drivers can safely share the road with bikers.
- Look twice for bikers. Motorcycles are smaller and more maneuverable than cars and are often harder to see due to their low profiles. That's why TxDOT is promoting the "Look Twice for Bikes" campaign encouraging drivers to always check mirrors and blind spots twice before changing lanes, merging, or turning.
- Never turn with an obstructed view. Left-turn accidents account for about 25% of intersection crashes involving motorcycles. Always yield to motorcyclists and wait until it's safe before you make a turn.
- Don't tailgate or cut off motorcycles, and don't underestimate their speed or distance.
- Don't speed. Injury severity is associated with posted speed limits, and areas with higher speed limits are associated with more severe injuries. Therefore, exceeding the speed limit puts motorcycle riders at an ever greater risk for severe or fatal injuries.
- Stay focused on the road. Distracted driving is one of the most reckless decisions you can make when behind the wheel. When you're distracted by a phone or something else, you aren't aware of your surroundings. That means you're more at risk of overlooking a biker and causing a serious motorcycle wreck. Don't text, use your phone, or engage in other distracting activities while driving.
- Be patient and courteous. Motorcycles may travel at different speeds or take different routes than cars, and it's essential to be patient and courteous. Remember, bikers don't have the same protection as those in larger vehicles, so we all need to do our part to keep them safe.
Contact a Laredo, TX, motorcycle accident lawyer
Insurance companies often unfairly label injured bikers as "daredevils" and "risk-takers," attempting to shift blame onto the motorcyclist by arguing the assumption of risk. At our firm, we're empathetic to the challenges injured bikers face and are here to help protect your rights and advocate for your best interests in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle wreck involving negligence, an attorney can help you navigate the process of seeking compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses. The key is to act fast and contact us right away to review your potential legal options. Don't wait - schedule your free case evaluation with John R. Solis, Attorney at Law, today to see how we can help you.