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Despite Less Traffic, Texas Saw a Significant Increase in Motorcycle Fatalities in 2020

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On May 4, 2021, the Texas Department of Transportation (“TXDOT”) reported an alarming 17% increase in fatal motorcycle accidents in 2020. The increase is particularly significant given there was less traffic on the road in 2020 and a 2% decrease in total motorcycle accidents. Of the 7,481 motorcycle crashes on Texas roads in 2020, 1,856 motorcyclists were seriously injured and 482 were killed.

TXDOT noted that fatal motorcycle crashes involving cars most often occur when the car driver misjudges a motorcycle’s distance and speed and makes a left turn in front of the motorcycle. In 2020, one-third of fatal motorcycle accidents occurred in an intersection or were intersection-related.

TXDOT reiterated several safety tips to prevent motorcycle crashes:

  • Take extra care when making a left turn: It’s safest to let the motorcycle pass to avoid turning in front of the motorcycle rider;
  • Pay special attention at intersections: Nearly one in three motorcycle fatalities happens at a roadway intersection.
  • 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.

If you or a loved one were seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, call our Houston motorcycle accident lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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