Although fun and exciting, riding a motorcycle are inherently more dangerous than driving a car. Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries and even death. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, on average, one motorcycle rider dies every day. In 2020 alone, there were 7,481 motorcycle crashes in Texas, and 482 riders died. Despite only accounting for 3% of registered vehicles, motorcycle accidents account for 14% of yearly vehicle deaths.
There are steps that Houston motorcyclists can take to help protect themselves on the road. Below are six steps that riders can take to keep themselves safe.
- Check Your Bike Before Riding
Every time you ride your bike, you should check to ensure that it is in proper condition. This includes checking tire pressure, tread depth, chain, lights, brakes, cables, mirrors, horns, and controls. Texas requires all vehicles, including motorcycles, to pass a yearly inspection.
- Take Safety Training
Regardless of how long you have been riding motorcycles, it is a good idea to periodically enroll in a safety training program. In a safety training program, you will learn traffic safety laws, defensive riding, and how to react in emergency situations. In Texas, you are required to take a safety class to receive your motorcycle driver’s license.
- Wear Protective Gear
One of the most common mistakes motorcyclists make in Houston is not wearing the appropriate protective gear. Every motorcyclist should wear the following equipment:
• Helmet. A helmet is one of the best defenses against severe or fatal head trauma. Every motorcyclist should wear a full-coverage certified DOT-approved helmet every time they ride. Texas does not legally require motorcyclists to wear a helmet if they are over the age of 21 and have completed a Department of Motor Vehicle-approved Motorcycle Operating Training Course or have at least $10,000 in medical insurance. In most, other states motorcyclists are required to wear helmets.
• Goggles. Goggles are necessary to protect the rider’s eyes and block the wind. Motorcyclists should wear goggles that are shatterproof, securely fashioned, optically clear, and resistant to impact and penetration. The goggles should not block peripheral vision.
• Low-Heeled Footwear. Low heeled footwear is necessary to provide grip on the road and footpegs. It should cover the ankle with no dangling laces or rings.
• Gloves. Gloves offer better control and protect the hands from cuts, bruises, blisters, cold, and wind.
• Bright-Colored, Reflective Clothing. Wearing bright-colored, reflective clothing that covers the motorcyclist’s arms and legs helps increase their visibility to other drivers. Clothing should be made from abrasive-resistant material to protect a rider if they come into contact with concrete.
- Avoid Distractions
Motorcyclists should avoid all activities that take their eyes off the road. Because of the increased risk of injuries, it is critical for motorcyclists to ride defensively and be aware of their surroundings. Many accidents are caused when another driver was distracted and did not notice the motorcycle. It is often up to the motorcyclist to avoid the reckless driving of others.
- Do Not Ride in Poor Weather Conditions
The risk of accidents increases in bad weather conditions. Whenever possible, motorcyclists should avoid riding the rain or snow. If it is necessary to ride, motorcyclists should use caution and reduce their speed.
- Follow the Rules of the Road
Motorcyclists should obey the rules of the road, including traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings. Riders should never lane split, a common practice where a motorcyclist passes other vehicles by going between the lanes of traffic. Lane splitting is illegal in Texas and dangerous, especially when riders split a lane with a larger vehicle or at high speeds.
- Buy the Correct Motorcycle. It is critical to buy a motorcycle that fits you well. You should not use a bike that has more power than you can comfortably handle. Motorcyclists should practice riding a new bike in a contained area before bringing it to the open road.
Your Houston Motorcyclist Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call the Paxton Law Firm. We have represented injured persons involved in these types of accidents for nearly twenty years.
Let us review your case and advise you of your rights. The Paxton Law Firm believes in taking the stress of dealing with your legal battles and turning a negative situation into the best possible outcome lady justice allows. We offer free consultations, and you do not pay any legal fees until we recover for you.