TxDOT Asks Drivers to Watch Out for Motorcycles

The Texas Department of Transportation is educating drivers on how to prevent collisions with motorcycles.

The agency’s “Share the Road” public awareness campaign urges drivers to look twice for motorcycles at intersections and when changing lanes, the two places where serious motorcycle collisions commonly occur.

The campaign uses TV and radio commercials and billboards to drive home the safety message.

Fort Worth police Sgt. Mike Cagle, a motorcycle patrolman, said educated drivers can reduce the number of collisions.

“Look twice, do a double take, [and] be respectful,” he said. “A motorcycle is a vehicle just like any other vehicle.

Ultimately, drivers aren’t aware the motorcycles are there, Cagle said.

“They [drivers] just don’t see them, and they need to take the time to look. That’s the scariest thing — they just don’t see us when they come over.”

According to TxDOT, 66 percent of motorcycle crashes result in the death or serious injury for the motorcyclist. The agency says 434 motorcyclists were killed and almost 6,000 were injured in 2009.

Cagle said intersections and lane changes are the deadliest places for motorcycles,  especially when the motorcyclist is turning left or when a vehicle is changing lanes.

Experienced motorcycle rider David Morrissey, who learned to ride in his teens, said drivers just need to be aware of their surroundings.

“Look for us,” he said. “Stop, and talk on your telephone when you are stopped. And don’t text, and please no sandwiches and mascara at the same time at 80 miles an hour down the road,” he said. See Video

 

When the Handlebars Are in Your Hands

Tina Reeves: American Women Riders

I was asked this question this past weeekend: What would I tell new riders to help keep them safe?

Just because you have that motorcycle endorsement and you have that new bike doesn’t mean you know everything. It’s the beginning of your learning to ride process.

You need to take the time to get acquainted with your motorcycle. Learn your controls and location so that it becomes a natural reaction to use them. Adjust the mirrors for you and always remember that even though you use those mirrors always do a head turn check of traffic before changing lanes.

Always keep scanning ahead and keep your eyes moving. Use your defensive riding skills and expect the unexpected. If you are riding in a group don’t follow so close that you can’t avoid trash or potholes in the road.

Something very important when riding is do not panic. Panic overpowers your ability to make decisions and maintain control. I remember the first time I had to brake quickly. First thing that came to my mind was don’t panic. I can do this and that helped stop me from losing control.

Go out on some low traffic streets or find a empty parking lot and practice, practice, practice and practice some more. It can sound intimidating to a new rider but it will all become second nature after you gain experience and confidence. Respect your motorcycle and be proud that you are doing something that will change your life.

Safe Rides Always and Remember To Find Joy In Your Journey!

Tina-HarleySkyAngel
American Woman Riders