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Motorcycle awareness and road safety, part 1

This is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has begun an initiative in conjunction with this event. The goal is to make the public more aware of the dangers that motorcycle riders face from cars and trucks.

The campaign seeks to encourage the drivers of cars and trucks to share the road better and to do a better job of seeing motorcycles.

Of course, bumper stickers saying “start seeing motorcycles” have long for quite awhile. But many motorists still claim they don’t see motorcyclists.

Why is this? After all, it isn’t as if the cyclists are hiding under Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. It’s true that motorcycles are smaller than cars or trucks. But that is hardly a sufficient reason for motorists failing to see them so often.

It would seem that much of the problem comes down, then, to the mindset of motorists. If motorists become more aware of the need to see motorcyclists properly, motorists will be better able to do so.

The Transportation Institute at Texas A & M has researched the causes of motorcycle accidents. The research confirms that the failure of motorists to see motorcyclists is a common cause of crashes. Those longstanding “start seeing cycles” bumper stickers remain very much on point.

In our next post, we will discuss the latest statistics on motorcycle accidents in Texas. Fatal motorcycle accidents were down somewhat in Texas last year. But there were still 460 people killed on motorcycles or scooters. And there were many serious injuries as well.

Please visit our page on catastrophic injuries.

Source: Texas motorcycle, scooter deaths down in 2012 but still higher than a decade ago,” The Dallas Morning News, Jeff Mosier, 5-5-13

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