Personal Injury

Texas Motorcycle Deaths Surge, Prompting Safety Campaign

Motorcycle riders wait in traffic near other vehicles.

What is causing the increase in motorcycle fatalities?

Motorcycle accident fatalities in Texas increased for the fifth consecutive year to a record high last year, prompting state officials to increase efforts this month as part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The campaign aims to educate vehicle drivers about the dangers bikers in Texas face on the road.

“May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month,” according to a recent announcement from the Texas Department of Transportation (Texas DOT). “Our Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles safety campaign strives to protect motorcyclists and to remind all drivers of safe driving habits.”

Texas motorcycle accident fatalities set record

Last year, more motorcyclists died in accidents in Texas than any year other year in history in the state. Just under 600 people died in Texas motorcycle accidents in 2023, according to TxDOT accident data. That figure is 7 percent higher than in 2022, when a previous record high of 564 motorcyclists died in accidents in Texas, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

TxDOT has annual motorcycle accident fatality statistics on its website dating back to 2003. Since then, there have not been more motorcycle accident deaths in any year in Texas than the number of riders who died in 2023.

How dangerous is Texas for bikers compared to other states?

Like Texas, the rest of the country has been dealing with a record surge in the number of motorcycle accident fatalities in recent years. Each recent year seems to set a record for most motorcycle accident deaths in history.

Between 2019 and 2021, motorcycle accident deaths nationwide soared 21 percent higher to 6,084 deaths in 2021, the highest single-year death toll since at least 1975, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Then, in 2022, motorcycle accident fatalities set another record with 6,218 deaths nationwide, according to the NHTSA.

Moreover, Texas historically has the second or third-highest annual motorcycle accident death toll. Florida typically has the most motorcycle fatalities each year, followed by either California or Texas, according to the NHTSA.

Common causes of motorcycle accidents

Sadly, there are many motorcycle accidents in Texas that never should have happened. In many cases, these collisions occur due to mistakes made by reckless or aggressive vehicle drivers. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle include:

  • Speeding, which results in 34 percent of motorcycle accident deaths nationwide, according to NHTSA accident data.
  • Drunk driving, which has played a role in 27 percent of motorcycle accident deaths nationwide in recent years, according to NHTSA.
  • Distracted driving, including texting while driving, which has become one of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes in recent years.

Tips for drivers to share the road with motorcycles

TxDOT recently offered several safety tips to vehicle drivers as part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, including:

  • Always be on the lookout for motorcyclists when driving.
  • Vehicle drivers should look twice before changing lanes or turning, just in case a motorcyclist is nearby.
  • When turning left, vehicle drivers should look for oncoming motorcyclists. If a motorcyclist is coming in the opposite direction, vehicle drivers should wait to turn left.
  • Don’t tailgate when there’s a motorcyclist in front of you. Give bikers enough space to stop or slow down. That way, you won’t cause a rear-end motorcycle accident.

“We want everyone to get home safe, and that means drivers should be on the lookout for motorcycles and give them adequate space, especially when turning,” TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams said.

What legal options are available to injured motorcyclists in Texas?

Texas has an at-fault insurance system. That means if another driver caused your motorcycle crash, you may have several options for obtaining the financial compensation you deserve for your accident-related expenses (past, present, and future). Such options may include:

  • Accept a one-time settlement to pay for all your motorcycle accident expenses, including future anticipated expenses.
  • If you believe your settlement offer does not cover all your anticipated expenses, you can ask for more money.
  • Another option for obtaining the maximum financial compensation is to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit against the at-fault party, which is often the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Why should I hire a Texas motorcycle accident attorney?

You might think you don’t need a lawyer if another driver caused your motorcycle accident in Texas, but don’t be so sure. In many cases, straightforward motorcycle accident claims quickly become complicated legal cases.

Motorcyclists are often wrongly blamed for causing these collisions due to unfair biases against bikers. Another reason is that motorcyclists' injuries are often severe, meaning the stakes can be high for the at-fault driver's insurance company.

Our motorcycle accident lawyers at Tracey Fox & Walters in Texas know how to deal with insurance companies and protect the rights of injured bikers. Our talented team of attorneys has years of experience handling complex legal cases throughout Texas and getting meaningful results for our clients.

Get the Texas law firm that gets Texas results. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation to learn how a motorcycle accident attorney can help you demand the justice and financial compensation you deserve. We have offices in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.

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