Motorcyclists in Texas are at a higher risk of serious injury in an accident. The small size of a motorcycle, compared with cars or trucks on the roads, means that as a motorcyclist, you are going to be the one who suffers the most damage.
Motorcycle accidents continue to be a major problem in Texas and throughout the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 5,500 motorcyclists were killed in accidents in 2020.
Practice in private areas
It is important to know how to safely operate your motorcycle to reduce your chance of an accident. If you are new to motorcycling, practice before taking your motorcycle out on busy roads or highways.
Train yourself to ride your motorcycle the same way you learned to drive a car. Start in parking lots or other private areas where you can learn to ride. From there, move on to practicing in a wide variety of environments, to develop your skills when dealing with potholes, rough roads or bad weather.
Maintain your motorcycle
Always keep your motorcycle in good condition. Check things like fluid levels and tire pressure before you ride and do not take your motorcycle out if there is a problem that needs maintenance.
When you ride with a passenger, educate them on the proper way to ride on a motorcycle. They should sit as far forward as they can, keep movement to a minimum and always keep their feet on the footrests. Their body should move in time with yours.
Wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road
Do not go out onto the road without a valid motorcycle license and always wear a helmet. Dress properly for riding a motorcycle. This usually means covering your arms and legs and shoes high enough to cover your ankles. Since drivers could have a hard time seeing you, consider wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing.
Follow safety laws and drive carefully. Never ride while you are intoxicated or under the influence of any substance, and try to avoid riding if you are tired, which can cause slower reaction times and increase your chances of getting distracted.
How to handle other drivers
No matter how safe you are, you cannot control other drivers on the road. Many drivers believe that they have more rights than motorcyclists or are annoyed by motorcyclists on the road, but you have just as much right to be there as they do.
Drivers may speed up to get around a motorcyclist, while making unsafe turns or changing lanes. They might tailgate you or drive aggressively, causing you to crash.
Do not engage with other drivers if they drive aggressively or recklessly. Continue to follow the traffic laws and avoid drivers whose driving becomes dangerous. This type of behavior is negligent.
Negligence law in Texas
When you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you have a long, tough road ahead of you, but compensation could be available through a personal injury claim for negligence.
Texas uses a modified comparative negligence standard when it comes to apportioning damages in a personal injury case. This means that the amount of compensation you recover could be reduced if you are found to be partially negligent, and if you are found to be 51% or more negligent, you are barred from any recovery.
Therefore, having strong and professional legal representation when you pursue compensation is essential. Personal injury attorneys can examine your situation and help you with building your case for negligence.