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Texas Motorcycle Accident Prevention tips

In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 4,281 motorcycle accident fatalities. In the previous year, more than 5,000 bikers were killed and another 96,000 injured on U.S. roadways. Based on vehicle miles traveled, the statistical odds for motorcycle deaths and injuries are considerably higher than those of drivers of SUVs, cars or trucks. Motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable riders on American highways.

For an Oklahoma man this fact was fatally true. On March 18, the Oklahoma man and a group of motorcyclists were heading north on Texas 149. The young rider was trailing his group and attempted to catch up. He then lost control of his bike and was subsequently ejected off of the bike. Although he was wearing a helmet, he died at the scene from injuries sustained from the crash.

Tips to Prevent a Texas Motorcycle Accident

Often motorcycle riding is a solo experience. However, riders share the road with other bikers and drivers. Being a safety-conscious biker translates into an aware and trained rider. While making sure equipment operates properly, motorcyclists should also understand their relationship to other drivers on the road. Being wary of driver blind spots and exercising caution when moving through intersections are simple things that bikers can do to stay safe.

Attending motorcyclist training and practicing hand signals are other steps that increase biker safety. Mapping routes, understanding motorcycle operation and safety laws and maintaining emergency items such as first aid kits, tool kits, cell phones or other mobile communications devices are also important.

The significance of safety gear cannot be overstressed. Wearing protective gear, including a properly fitted helmet, has been proven to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal accidents.

When traveling, Texas motorcyclists should try not to travel alone and should be mindful of road conditions and the weather. Taking appropriate rest and fuel breaks provides the chance to regularly inspect motorcycle lights, signals and mirrors. Also, just as drivers can be distracted or impaired, so can motorcyclists. Texting, using cell phones or drinking while riding should be avoided entirely.

In 2008, motorcyclists accounted for 13 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities. While this number has significantly decreased, thousands of cyclists die each year on America's highways. Texas motorcycle accidents cannot be prevented altogether, but bikers can reduce risks for injuries and death by being prepared, trained, unimpaired and aware when sharing the road.

Source: Houston News "Motorcycle Accident on Texas 140 Claims the Life of Oklahoma Man," Brad Meyer, 3/18/2011

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