Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is launching a new campaign – Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles – in support of National Motorcycle Awareness Month this May.
The campaign urges drivers to be extra cautious, since motorcyclists are more difficult to see and less protected than other motorists.
“Last year motorcycle fatalities were reduced by 17 percent, which is a big step forward; still one death is too many for the Lone Star State,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “As motorcyclists hit the road to enjoy the open air and beautiful scenery, it’s important that vehicle drivers and motorcyclists remain alert and look out for each other on the road. We want everyone to enjoy what Texas offers and reach their destinations safely.”
In 2018, 417 motorcyclists died on Texas roadways, an average of more than one fatality a day. TxDOT cautions drivers to be extra vigilant when approaching, turning, or driving through an intersection, as 30 percent of Texas motorcycle deaths in 2018 were intersection-related.
A motorcyclist’s “braking” is not always obvious to motorists. Motorcycles decelerate faster than vehicles and motorcyclists can often downshift instead of applying the brake, especially when driving around a curve. This means at times brake lights will not be engaged to signal the motorcycle is slowing down. Drivers are encouraged to allow for extra distance when they are behind motorcycles.
TxDOT’s tips for drivers:
- Look twice for motorcycles, especially at intersections
- Assume motorcycles are closer than they appear to be and avoid turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle
- Use turn signals and check blind spots before changing lanes
- Maintain a safe following distance
- Give motorcyclists a full lane, especially when passing
- Obey posted speed limits
TxDOT’s Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles campaign will conduct the following events around the state featuring virtual reality games designed to educate drivers and motorcyclists about the importance of watching out for each other.
- May 3 – El Paso
- May 10 – Corpus Christi
- May 11 – Houston (Sugar Land)
- May 12 – Austin
- May 17 – Dallas-Fort Worth (Frisco)
- May 18 – Midland
- May 19 – San Antonio