Texas Motorcycle Safety Tips

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Live to Ride: Texas Motorcycle Safety

One of the most exhilarating ways of travel is by motorcycle. The open road, the wind in your face, the elements all around you – it’s no wonder why so many Texans are leaving their cars and trucks behind and opting for a smaller, lighter, and more fuel-efficient vehicle.

However, motorcyclists are also the most vulnerable to injury or death in the case of an accident. And with their smaller size on the road, they are often the victim of carelessness – cars and trucks will change lanes right into a motorcyclist, or turn at an intersection in front of a biker who is in the lane next to them.

Both bikers and motorists should exercise respect and caution at all times on the road. Below are some preventative measures that will help motorcyclists reach their destinations safely each and every time they hop on their bikes and ride.

Motorcycle Safety Courses

In order to properly educate motorcyclists about the risks on the road, the state of Texas offers motorcycle safety courses aimed at preparing bikers for the hazards they may encounter on their drive. The course teaches all of the basic skills required, and targets awareness expansion so that motorcyclists can anticipate the actions of the vehicles around them. Completion of this program will earn the driver a Class M motorcycle license.

There is also an advanced course that bikers can take, targeted at more experienced motorcyclists. These courses help drivers develop skills to adapt to weather conditions, and enhance maneuvering and basic driving safety skills.

The Texas Helmet Law

The state mandates that all motorcycle drivers and passengers under the age of 21 wear a protective helmet each time they ride. And while riders over the age of 21 may not necessarily be penalized for riding without a helmet, it’s an incredibly risky decision to make. The speed at which a biker travels, coupled with the lack of protection from any impact, makes for a very deadly recipe. In order to maintain an adequate level of safety, motorcyclists should always:

  • Wear a helmet, a protective jacket, and gloves
  • Ride with your headlights on (to improve noticeability)
  • Maintain a safe speed with enough time to react to hazards
  • Avoid “lane splitting” or “lane sharing”

“Share the Road” Campaign

Annually, the state of Texas implements a “Share the Road” Motorcycle Safety campaign, aimed at urging both motorists and bikers to work together for a safe driving environment. Motorcyclists are encouraged to heighten their awareness on the roads, while drivers in vehicles are urged to look both ways, twice, before turning or changing lanes, to ensure that a motorcyclist isn’t hidden behind them.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, motorcycle deaths have more than doubled in the state within the last 10 years, and the trend shows no signs of slowing. It’s everyone’s responsibility to share the road equally with all travelers – motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike. By following the law, employing defensive driving techniques, and treating all other travelers with the same respect as you expect for yourself, it could be possible to reverse these growing dangers.

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