Against a backdrop of motorcycles, scooters, and their riders, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) kicked off a statewide Share the Road motorcycle safety and public awareness campaign (www.looklearnlive.org) on April 12 to urge motorists to look twice for motorcycles at intersections and when changing lanes, the two places where serious motorcycle collisions commonly occur.
“Seeing them is saving them” is the theme of TxDOT’s new campaign, which will use TV and radio commercials as well as billboards to drive home the new safety message.
“We know that 66 percent of motorcycle crashes result in death or serious injury for the motorcyclist,” said Carol Rawson, TxDOT’s Traffic Operations Director. “As more and more people turn to motorcycles for affordable transportation and recreation, it’s more important than ever to remind drivers to look twice for motorcycles.”
TxDOT offers these tips on how to better see and accommodate motorcyclists on the road:
- Do a Double Take: Look twice for motorcyclists at intersections, where they may be making a left turn, as well as on the highway, where a motorcyclist may be changing lanes. Clearly signal your intentions.
- Be Respectful: Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any vehicle on the roadway.
- Give Them Space: Don’t follow a motorcycle too closely. A motorcyclist’s riding patterns are different from vehicle patterns, and reactions may vary for the same road or weather conditions. Allow a full lane of travel space between your car or truck and a motorcycle.
- Anticipate Next Steps: Obstructions that you do not notice could prove to be deadly for a motorcyclist. Give motorcyclists plenty of space to react and make the road a safe place for you and others, no matter what form of transportation they use.
Motorcyclists are dying in record numbers in Texas. In 2009, 434 motorcyclists were killed, accounting for 14 percent of the state’s traffic deaths. Without aggressive steps to promote public awareness about the dangers facing motorcyclists, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Center for Transportation Safety estimates that the state’s motorcycle death toll could double by 2015.
For more information on the campaign, visit TxDOTs website.