As the weather heats up and the economy begins opening back up, more people will be burning up the highways, some in four wheels, others on two or three. As motorcyclists roll out onto the roadways, cities and other entities roll out proclamations of May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month.
In 2016, Texas had more than 400,000 registered motorcycles, according to the Center for Transportation Safety.
On average, a motorcyclist is killed on Texas roads every day. In 2018, 417 riders lost their lives and 1,920 were seriously injured in motorcycle crashes, according to a 2019 Texas Department of Transportation report.
In fact, motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 28 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationally in 2016, according to a NHTSA report.
That’s why the city and other elected officials across the state and national, along with Texas Department of Transportation and other entities, join the effort annually to remind others to slow down and look round while driving, not only for their safety but that of motorcyclists on the roadways. May has been designated as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month in Sulphur Springs.
“It is the responsibility of all who put themselves behind the wheel to become aware of motorcyclists, regarding them with the same respect as any other vehicle traveling the highways of this country; and it is the responsibility of riders and motorists alike to obey all traffic laws and safety rules,” Sulphur Springs Mayor John Sellers said, during the May 5 Sulphur Springs City Council meeting, when proclaiming May Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month.
He urged “all citizens of our community to become aware of the inherent danger involved in operating a motorcycle, and for riders and motorists alike to give each other the mutual respect they deserve.”
The NHTSA reported a decline in motorcycle crashes and fatalities of about 1 percent followings awareness campaigns in 2018.
TxDOT reports following a few basic driver safety rules can help reduce the number of motorcycle collisions, and potentially save a life. The state agency recommends motorists:
- Look twice for motorcycles, especially at intersections.
- Always assume motorcycles are closer than they appear to be, and avoid turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle.
- Give motorcyclists a full lane.
- Use turn signals and check blindspots before changing lanes.
- Obey posted speed limits.
- Avoid following a motorcycle too closely.