According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), there were 5,898 motorcycle crashes in the state in 2020, resulting in 461 fatalities. This represents a significant portion of the overall traffic accidents in the state, as motorcycles make up a small percentage of total vehicles on the road. In fact, motorcycles are overrepresented in traffic fatalities in Texas, with motorcyclists comprising 14% of all traffic fatalities in the state in 2020 despite making up only about 3% of registered vehicles.
Does Texas weather increase the number of motorcycle accidents?
One contributing factor to the high number of motorcycle accidents in Texas is the state’s warm climate, which allows for riding throughout much of the year. However, alcohol impairment and speeding are also common factors in motorcycle crashes. TxDOT data shows that in 2020, alcohol was a factor in 31% of motorcycle fatalities in the state, and speeding was a factor in 27% of fatalities. In addition, motorcycle riders are more likely to be involved in a crash due to the inherent vulnerability of riding a motorcycle and the lack of protection compared to occupants of a passenger car.
What is the financial cost of a motorcycle crash?
In addition to the human cost of motorcycle accidents, there is also a financial impact. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates the average cost of a motorcycle crash to be over $1 million, including medical expenses, property damage, and lost productivity. This cost is often borne by the injured rider, as well as their family and loved ones. In addition to the personal toll, there is also a societal cost to motorcycle accidents, as they disrupt communities and strain emergency services and healthcare systems.
What has Texas done to reduce motorcycle accidents?
To help reduce the number of motorcycle accidents in the state, Texas has implemented several measures. For example, the state requires all motorcycle riders to pass a motorcycle operator training and education (MOTE) course and to wear a helmet while riding. Helmets are proven to be effective at reducing the risk of death and serious injury in a motorcycle crash, with the NHTSA estimating that helmets use saves the lives of about 1,500 motorcyclists each year. In addition, the Texas Motorcycle Safety Coalition (TMSC) works to educate riders and promote safety through campaigns and events such as the annual Texas Motorcycle Safety Forum.
Despite these efforts, motorcycle accidents in Texas continue to be a persistent problem. In fact, the number of motorcycle fatalities in the state has been increasing in recent years, with 514 deaths in 2018 and 461 deaths in 2020. This trend is concerning, as it suggests that current safety measures may not be enough to effectively address the issue.
What can motorcycle riders do to reduce injuries in a collision?
So what can be done to address this problem? Riders can help protect themselves by wearing proper safety gear, such as a helmet, gloves, and protective clothing, and by riding defensively and obeying traffic laws. Motorcycle helmets are the most important piece of safety equipment a rider can wear. It is also important for drivers of other vehicles to be aware of motorcycles on the road and to share the road safely, as the majority of motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle. In addition, law enforcement can play a role by cracking down on drunk and reckless driving, and lawmakers can consider passing stricter laws and increasing penalties for dangerous behavior on the road.
Ultimately, addressing the issue of motorcycle accidents in Texas will require a multifaceted approach that involves the efforts of riders, drivers, law enforcement, and lawmakers. By working together, it may be possible to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and save lives on the roads of Texas.
Hire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may have the right to recover compensation for your injuries, medical bills and other damages. Motorcycle accident attorneys help clients recover compensation for crashes caused by someone else’s negligence. Contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer for a free consultation today. Your time to pursue a claim is limited by the state statute of limitations as well as potentially other, shorter deadlines. Do not delay, talk to an attorney immediately.