Texas is a Biker State
Few images capture the Lone Star State’s independent spirit better than a motorcycle rider on an open highway. Texas is home to more registered motorcycles than almost any other state in America. Austin’s Republic of Texas Biker Rally is one of the country’s largest motorcycle events.
But freedom comes with risk.
Motorcycles are More Dangerous to Operate than Most Other Motor Vehicles
Any Texas bike rider from Austin to El Paso knows that motorcycles carry greater dangers than motor vehicles like cars and trucks.
Because motorcycles are smaller in size and have less stability than a car or truck, they may be more susceptible to unsafe road conditions than other vehicles on the road.
Transportation research has proven this with grim statistics:
- When motorcycles and other vehicles collide on the road, riders and their passengers are ten times more likely to be injured than the other driver
- Motorcycles riders are killed in vehicular accidents six times more often than other motorists
- Nearly a third of crashes by a motorcycle kill or incapacitate the rider or bike passenger, compared to 4% of other vehicular accidents.
Motorcycle Riding in Texas is Particularly Dangerous
Perhaps because of the volume and density of its highway traffic, Texas is an especially risky state for riding motorbikes:
- Motorcycles make up two percent of registered vehicles on the road in Texas, but sixteen percent of vehicle crash fatalities in Texas.
- In Texas, motorcycle riders are twenty-five more times likely to be injured in an accident than car drivers, and 25 times more likely to be killed.
- Ninety percent of Texas motorcycle accidents involve a bodily injury, as compared to forty percent of other automobile accidents in Texas.
Motorcycle accident injuries can include:
- Head injuries, including TBIs (traumatic brain injuries);
- Serious spinal injuries, paralysis or paraplegia/quadriplegia;
- Neck and facial injuries;
- Broken bones;
- “Road rash” and scarring;
- Coma or even death
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Texas
Studies show that the best safety precaution motorcycle riders can use is wearing a helmet. That’s no less true in the Lone Star State. Of the 500 Texas motorcycle fatalities that the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) reported in 2017, more than half involved riders or passengers not wearing helmets.
Texas laws for motorcycle helmets are less strict than some other states. In Texas, only motorcycle riders under the age of 21 are required to wear helmets. But riders over 21 are required to obtain exemptions from the DMV, either by obtaining sufficient insurance or completing a motorcycle safety course.
Impaired Motorcycle Riding
A study by industry-leader Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute showed that 44% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved an impaired rider.
Younger riders crash more, likely because younger drivers and riders tend to underestimate the risk of an accident much more than those who are older.
The Biggest Risk to Motorcycle Riders is Other Drivers
Some bikers say the risk is part of the thrill. Experienced riders minimize the risk by wearing protective gear, keeping their bikes properly maintained and observing Texas traffic laws.
But even seasoned bikers with well-tuned motorcycles are vulnerable to other motorists’ mistakes.
Studies by safety engineers show that the majority of motorcycle collisions with other vehicles happen because the other motorist does not see the bike rider.
- Up to 70% of drivers failed to see the motorcycle they collided with.
- Drivers are much worse at judging safe distances with oncoming motorcycles than other motor vehicles. Motor vehicle drivers are more likely to risk pulling out in front of an oncoming motorcycle than a larger vehicle like an 18-wheeler.
- In car accidents where the drivers “look but don’t see” objects in the road, motorcycle riders are disproportionately the victims.
- Driving while texting and other distractions behind the wheel have impacted motorcycle riders at a much rate than other drivers.
Trustworthy, aggressive legal help for motorcycle accident victims.
Motorcycle accident lawsuits in Austin can be complicated and seem confusing. You might have a claim against another motorist, against the motorcycle manufacturer, or against a government body that was negligent in road maintenance.
But no matter how the motorcycle crash occurred, the motorcycle accident lawyers at our firm welcome the opportunity to listen and see if we can help guide you through this trying time.
Insurance Companies May Offer a Lowball Settlement
Your insurance company might offer you compensation that seems sufficient. But keep in mind that insurance companies are businesses, not charities. Insurance adjusters and attorneys understand that smaller settlements mean bigger profits. It’s not personal.
Justinian & Associates: Warriors For the Wounded
In the horrible event of wrongful death after a motorcycle accident, you might not be in a position, either emotionally or mentally, to make the necessary and serious, complex decisions on your own.
At Justinian & Associates, we are passionate about pursuing justice in the wake of wrongful injury from motorcycle accidents. Our job is to fight, support, and help people and their family members when they have been affected by another’s carelessness.
Our Consultation is Free – No Legal Fees Unless If We Win
Contact Justinian & Associates for a free consultation with a seasoned personal injury attorney (not a “screener” or paralegal). Our staff of Austin motorcycle attorneys and investigators have the experience and resources necessary to understand your case.
We will listen to your story, and explain all your options under Texas law. There is no obligation, and if you choose not to hire us, that’s no problem.
Even if you hire us to represent you in an Austin motorcycle accident lawsuit, we work on contingency. That means unless we win you some money, you pay nothing.
It’s that simple. Call, text or email us today for a free consultation.