May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. The Texas Department of Transportation is launching their “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign to make sure drivers know the simple steps they can take to safely share the road with motorcyclists and to prevent an increase in deadly crashes.
“One of the great things about motorcycles is, you never meet a stranger. It doesn’t matter where you are, if you are on a bike, you’re in a parking lot, if you’re at a light, at a gas pump, total strangers will always walk up to you and start talking to you,” says Mark Lomaglio who’s been an avid rider for 40 years.
He says motorcyclists are constantly trying to anticipate what other drivers are going to do. So reminding drivers to share the road and look twice is always a good thing.
“The car driver the 18-wheeler, they’re all pressed and stressed because of the traffic and willing to take risks that put us at even higher risk,” explains Lomaglio.
In the state of Texas last year, 501 motorcyclists were killed in crashes and 2,101 were seriously injured. Intersection-related crashes are actually much more frequent than head-on crashes involving motorcycles. A quarter of crashes involving a motorcycle involve a driver making a left turn in front of a bike.
To help everyone arrive safely at their destination, TxDOT spokesperson Brad Wheelis says they’re using social media and traditional media to get the word out regarding the campaign.
Lomaglio says despite the risks, bikers will continue to pursue their passion. “Even people that might fear motorcycles, they do fantasize about them. There’s always that romance idea of riding off into the sunset on your motorcycle.”
Motorcycle Safety Tips:
- Look twice for motorcycles, especially at intersections.
- Always assume motorcycles are closer than they appear.
- Avoid turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle.
- Use turn signals and check blind spots before changing lanes.
- Avoid following a motorcycle too closely.
- Give motorcyclists a full lane.
- Obey posted speed limits.