Motorcyclists risks on Texas roads

Motorcycle enthusiasts in Texas should always stay aware of the risks they face when sharing the road with drivers of other vehicles.

Summer is prime motorcycle riding time. Texans who love to take to the open road on two wheels look forward to the long days and good weather when they can enjoy some of the best riding. However, every time a motorcycle rider or a passenger gets on a bike, concerns about the actions of drivers in other vehicles can be present. Sadly, these concerns are not unwarranted. Many a motorcyclist has died at the hands of other drivers.

How often do serious motorcycle crashes happen?

A serious or fatal bike accident can happen anytime, anywhere. News stories make this all too easy to know. Some recent examples include the death of a 52-year-old man in Brownsville. CBS 4 News reports that he was riding his bike on a Monday afternoon when he was hit by a woman driving a Mazda sedan. The at-fault driver has been charged with a felony in the case.

A biker and a passenger both died near Elgin early one morning after a drunk driver hit their motorcycle. KXAN indicates that the impact was from a rear-end accident. The driver was 45 years old and the passenger was 38 years old.

In White Settlement, CBS Dallas Fort Worth indicates that a pickup truck struck a motorcycle and then fled the scene of the accident. The rider was a 30-year-old firefighter who, instead of helping others all of a sudden needed help himself. He died at a hospital after the accident.

How many bikers die in Texas?

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration paint the picture of motorcycle deaths in Texas. In looking at records from 2010 to 2014, a total of 148 motorcycle riders or passengers died in accidents in Bexar County. Only Harris County experienced more deaths during that time with 274 in all. In Dallas County, there were 138 motorcyclist fatalities. Tarrant and Travis Counties experienced 120 and 87 such deaths, respectively.

Statewide, a total of 450 motorcyclist fatalities were recorded in 2014 alone. Between 2010 and 2013, the annual number of biker deaths ranged from a low of 420 in 2010 to a high of 493 in 2013.

How does rider age impact fatality rates?

Many people automatically assume that younger riders are the most dangerous. However, the NHTSA records make it clear that even more mature riders are at extreme risk on the road. Over the 2010 to 2014 period, deaths among riders in their 30s, 40s and 50s numbered 403, 496 and 490, respectively.

What should accident victims do?

When the driver of another vehicle hits a motorcycle, riders or their family members should contact an attorney. Talking to a lawyer is a good way to learn the best options for seeking compensation.