TxDOT tracking sharp rise in motorcycle deaths - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

TxDOT tracking sharp rise in motorcycle deaths

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Staggering numbers of deaths from motorcycle accidents are causing concern for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

In an effort to cut down on motorcycle accidents, TxDOT is dedicating the month of May to motorcycle safety and awareness.

According to TxDOT there were 467 fatal accidents involving motorcycles in 2012.

That number jumped 5 percent to 494 in 2013.

In 52 percent of those accidents, riders were not wearing a helmet.

Sgt. Bryan Witt says most accidents happen when the driver is looking for larger cars.

"Most of these accidents are when someone is changing lanes or approaching an intersection because they're not expecting for a motorcycle to be coming. They're looking for bigger vehicles," Witt says.

Witt says that with the growth Lubbock has seen recently, more traffic brings more accidents.

"If you've been in Lubbock very long, you know how much we've seen traffic increase throughout the years, which is good for the economy but it means our roads are more crowded," Witt says.

TxDOT has some tips for how to reduce motorcycles on roadways.

Drivers and motorcyclists can significantly reduce their chances of being involved in a serious or fatal crash by adhering to basic safety measures, including:

  • Perform a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections.
  • Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Allow more following distance – three or four seconds – when behind a motorcycle, so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
  • Never tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
  • Never drive while distracted.

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