Word has it that 11 motorcyclists were killed on East Texas roadways last year, that number went up from the year before. We need to "Share The Road" Texas.

The year 2021 brought us more than 500 motorcycle deaths on Texas roadways, here in the TxDOT Atlanta District there were 125 motorcycle crashes which resulted in 11 deaths during that same period. That's one more death than in 2020 and many more were seriously injured. In 2021 the Atlanta District had 37 motorcyclists suffer serious injuries.

The TxDOT Atlanta District includes Bowie, Cass, Camp, Harrison, Marion, Morris, Panola, Titus and Upshur Counties.

The month of May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and your Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) wants to remind drivers to be on the lookout for motorcycle riders during the peak riding season on the state’s roadways.

TxDOT’s annual “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign calls attention to the safety precautions motorists must take to protect motorcyclists.

“With warmer temperatures, we’re seeing more and more motorcycles on our roads. Those are our friends, parents and other loved ones, and they are not always easy to see. More than half of fatal motorcycle crashes result from collisions with other vehicles,” said Atlanta District Engineer Buddy Williams. “It’s easy to misjudge the distance and speed of motorcycles. Their small size can even make them appear farther away when they’re actually closer. And one more thing we’d like to remind folks about as they’re mowing their lawns this summer,” Williams added, “please remember to remove any grass clippings from the road. This is a serious slip hazard to our two-wheeled drivers that many of us may not think about.”

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

TxDOT reminds you of these life-saving safety tips for drivers to protect motorcyclists and prevent crashes:

  • Take extra care when making a left turn. Always assume motorcycles are closer than they appear and avoid turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle.
  • Pay special attention at intersections. A third of motorcycle fatalities happen at roadway intersections.
  • Give driving your full attention. Even a momentary distraction, such as answering a phone call or changing the radio station, can have deadly consequences.
  • Look twice when changing lanes. Check mirrors, check blind spots, and always use turn signals.
  • Give motorcyclists room when passing them. Move over to the passing lane and don’t crowd the motorcyclist’s full lane.
  • Stay back. If you’re behind a motorcycle, always maintain a safe following distance. When a motorcyclist downshifts instead of applying the brake to slow down, it can catch drivers off guard since there are no brake lights to signal reduced speed. 
  • Slow down. Obey posted speed limits and drive to conditions.
Photo by Gijs Coolen on Unsplash
Photo by Gijs Coolen on Unsplash

Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” is part of the broader #EndTheStreakTX campaign in the state, a social media and word-of-mouth effort encouraging Texas drivers to make safer choices behind the wheel, like wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, avoiding distractions, and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. November 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.

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