AUSTIN (KXAN) — At least 11 motorcycle crashes have occurred in Austin within the last three days. Almost all of these resulted in serious injuries and at least four were fatal, said Austin-Travis County EMS.
On average, one motorcyclist dies in a Texas crash every day, the Texas Department of Transportation reported on its website.
This means the Austin rate of motorcyclist deaths in the last 72 hours is at least 1.3 times the normal rate of all of Texas.
Hunter Coleman, a shop manager at Austin City Powersports, said one of the reasons Austin is such a hard environment for motorcyclists to navigate is the amount of traffic in the city.
“People are always cutting each other off in traffic and, you know, in a car you might be able to slow down and stuff like that, but if you’re on a bike, and you slow down, and someone rear-ends you, it’s a lot more serious.” He said. “You don’t have a cage to protect you.”
Hunter said motorcycle sales have been strong the last six months at Austin City Powersports, and the newer generation is expressing more interest in motorcycles than it has before.
“I don’t see [the rise of motorcycles in Austin] slowing down anytime soon, but then again, Austin’s not slowing down anytime soon,” he said. “More cars are going to be out there, more motorcycles are going to be out there. The road network’s just going to get crazier and crazier.”
KXAN reached out to the Austin Police Department on Feb. 14 about the recent motorcycle crashes in Austin. Police said of the 10 deadly crashes so far in 2022, five have involved motorcycles.
Det. Patrick Oborski with APD said being inexperienced is probably a factor in some of the crashes.
“Most of these crashes involve motorcyclists not licensed to be driving a motorcycle,” Oborski said.
Oborski also told KXAN most of the crashes are happening at night. Motorcyclists are being asked to wear proper protective gear and helmets as well as brighter clothing, so other drivers can spot them easily.
Other drivers are also being asked to look out for motorcyclists on the roads.