Drivers, Watch Out For Motorcycle Riders: TXDOT

Changing lanes only takes a few seconds but they can be the difference between life and death for motorcyclists on the road beside you.

The Texas Department of Transportation’s important “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign ends tomorrow. TXDOT has partnered with the Patriot Guard Riders, a North Texas motorcycle group, to host a ride from downtown Fort Worth to AT&T Stadium in Arlington tomorrow. I fully support the awareness campaign and the ride and wanted to publicize them.

Why? In Texas in 2013, 487 motorcyclists were tragically killed in wrecks. Dallas was the third-deadliest city in Texas for motorcyclists with 24 fatalities. Fort Worth was fifth with 11. Statewide, there have been already 118 motorcyclist fatalities in 2014.

“Most motorcycle riders who have ridden for years, you watch the car in front of you and think, ‘What is the dumbest thing this person can do,'” said Mike Lambert, state captain of the Patriot Guard Riders. “Motorcyclists face that danger on a daily basis. If you’re out for a two-hour ride, you’re going to at least twice have to dodge another car.”

Automobile and truck drivers should check blind spots, use their turn signals, avoid distractions including texting or talking on cell phones, and keep a sufficient distance between their vehicles and motorcycles.

While law enforcement officials encourage motorcyclists to wear helmets and other protective clothing, which I also support, the campaign is not focused on what motorcyclists should do to stay safe. Instead, it is meant to ensure automobile drivers pay more attention to motorcyclists around them.

Drivers should pay even more attention to those concerns when making lane changes and going into intersections, where many crashes occur. It is easy for a motorcycle to be missed in a blind spot because of its small size.

I have represented far too many people who have been seriously injured or killed while driving motorcycles. Without a large vehicle around you for protection, even a low speed crash can cause significant injury. And wrecks at high speed are far worse. Many of my clients who have been hurt in motorcycle crashes end up needing one or more surgeries. I fight to get my client substantial settlements and verdicts to compensate them for their injuries. I just successfully settled a case for a man who had two surgeries and might need a third after convincing the City of North Richland Hills to shut down a lane of traffic on a heavily traveled road so my accident reconstruction expert could recreate the scene and take extensive videotape and photographs.

If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle collision, call my office at 817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-800-801-8585 to learn how I can help you get the medical care you need and the money you deserve.

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