As spring weather draws more motorcyclists onto Texas roadways, the Texas Department of Transportation is launching its “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign to reduce crashes and save lives. The campaign – part of National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May – urges drivers to be extra cautious, because motorcyclists are more difficult to see and less protected than other motorists.
“We see far too many deadly motorcycle crashes on Texas roadways, so we’re telling drivers to be extra diligent when sharing the road,” said TxDOT Executive Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). “We’re constantly told drivers simply didn’t see the motorcyclist until it’s too late. As drivers, it is incumbent upon us to be fully aware of our surroundings at all times and take proactive measures to ensure the safety of motorcyclists.”
Over the past five years, 2,354 motorcyclists have been killed in Texas. In 2014, Texas motorcycle crashes killed 455 motorcyclists. Half of the motorcyclists killed were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. One-third of motorcycle fatalities took place at intersections. Approximately 49 percent of motorcyclists who died in 2014 were riding in rural areas of the state.
To promote motorcycle safety awareness, TxDOT is partnering with local law enforcement agencies and Texas Patriot Guard Riders to hold motorcycle processions in select Texas cities. The riders will carry oversized flags emblazoned with the slogans “Look Twice for Motorcycles” and “Share the Road.” Patriot Guard Riders are volunteers known for leading funeral processions for fallen soldiers and first responders.
Additionally, TxDOT is traveling to multiple cities to participate in festivals and other special events. This year’s TxDOT display includes a special glass-panel truck showcasing a motorcycle on a virtual rural Texas roadway. Visitors will be able to step inside the truck to have their picture taken and shared via social media. They also are encouraged to take a pledge to “Look Twice” for motorcycles.
When sharing the road, TxDOT encourages drivers to check their mirrors, leave extra room between vehicles and use turn signals to help prevent crashes and save lives.