The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) is trying to make our streets safer with its second annual Share the Road campaign.
Last year our state had an alarming 470 motorcycle fatalities -- 40 more than in 2010. Half were caused by drivers overlooking the bike rider.
I have handled plenty of these cases over the last 31 years and have owned a motorcycle (ok, it was back in the mid 70's when I was a student at UT, but in the past few years have ridden a racing bicycle) so I am sensitive to cylists' injuries.
In 2011 I handled 10 motorcycle crashes - fortunately only one involved a death, where I successfully represented the widow of a wonderful man who died three weeks after his Harley was hit by a doctor in a BMW. All of my clients received large settlements and were extremely happy. Half got the maximum money that was available from both the other driver's policy and their Underinsured Motorists and Personal Injury Protection policies!
The Department of Transportation offers these tips to motorists on avoiding collisions with motorcycle riders:
Look twice: Watch for motorcyclists at intersections, where they may be making a left turn, and on the highway, where a motorcyclist may be changing lanes. Regularly check rearview and sideview mirrors, and use signals.
Give them space: Don't follow too closely. A motorcyclist's riding patterns are different, and reactions may vary for road or weather conditions. Allow a full lane of travel space between you and the motorcycle.
Anticipate next steps: Give motorcyclists plenty of space to react. This will help to make the road a safe place for you and others.